BC & NWT wildfires: how you can help

Aug 21, 2023

British Columbia and the Northwest Territories have both declared a state of emergency as communities across the province and territory deal with wildfires. At Travelzoo's offices in Vancouver and Toronto, our thoughts are with those affected by the fires. Here's how to help, and what you need to know about travelling to these beautiful, resilient places.

How you can help

  • Donating money (rather than used goods, which pose logistical challenges for charities) is the best way to contribute to relief efforts and long-term recovery. The Canadian Red Cross has set up a BC Fires Appeal and an NWT Fires Appeal. Contributions to the Fires Appeal can be made online or by calling 1-800-863-6582.
  • The BC SPCA has also stepped forward, establishing animal evacuation centres and providing pet food and supplies to evacuees. The organization's website offers comprehensive information on keeping pets safe during an evacuation or air quality crisis. Donations to support its efforts can be made online or by calling 1-800-665-1868.
  • The NWT United Way has set up an emergency campaign in response to the ongoing wildfires to support organizations in the Northwest Territories with their immediate needs like food, fuel and other expenses.
  • Other groups accepting donations for wildfire relief efforts include CanadaHelps, Food Banks BC and the Salvation Army.
  • You can help simply by visiting BC and the NWT in the coming months. Both British Columbia and the Northwest Territories are large and diverse places, and there are areas that are not impacted and are open for business. Even affected areas should be ready to welcome travellers with open arms this fall or winter.
  • Sign up for a Travelzoo Destination Alert for British Columbia, Northwest Territories or a specific city within each place. You'll be the first to know about our latest hotel, restaurant and activities deals, making it easier than ever to plan your trip.


Visiting BC soon? Here's what you need to know

Vancouver and much of Vancouver Island (including Tofino) are operating as normal, although skies can be hazy. (This Air Quality Health Index has the latest information on specific communities.) There are plenty of resources to help you steer clear of affected areas. Check DriveBC for information on road closures, the BC Wildfire Service for an interactive map, Emergency Info BC for alerts, and BC Parks for closures.

Travelling to the NWT soon? Here's what you need to know

The Government of the Northwest Territories is asking that non-essential travel to or through the NWT be avoided at this time and that residents of communities and areas currently under evacuation order are not to return home. Check Highway Conditions and Air Quality Health Index for more information.

If you do need to change your plans, many travel providers will try to accommodate you. WestJet is implementing flexible change and cancel rules for travellers. Air Canada is also offering free itinerary changes for certain B.C. flights.

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