We know that many people in BC have been affected by the ongoing wildfire situation. Natural disasters and other emergencies such as wildfires can lead to sudden and unexpected legal problems. These issues can cover a large variety of legal areas, such as housing, financial assistance and support, insurance claims, and more. This post gathers together some trusted resources that your patrons may find helpful if they have been affected by wildfires this summer.
Legal Information Resources
- EmergencyInfoBC shares resources during partial and full-scale provincial emergencies. It provides information on a variety of topics, including evacuation orders and alerts, travel advisories, and how to prepare for a wildfire. It also provides links to a number of recovery and support resources, including information on financial support available for wildfire evacuees and the responses from providers such as BC Hydro and ICBC.
- The Residential Tenancy Branch has created a page on the 2021 Wildfire Season and Tenancies, which includes helpful information landlords and tenants impacted by wildfires. It includes information on evacuation, serving documents, dispute resolution, as well as links to their FAQ page regarding wildfires.
- The Insurance Bureau of Canada has created a page with information on the claims process for those whose homes and businesses have been impacted by wildfires and evacuation orders.
- The Emergency Support Services (ESS) Information Centre can help those who are evacuated and have no other supports. Their website describes what documentation an evacuee should have and what they can expect at reception centres.
- Access Pro Bono has created a number of FAQ sheets, which include legal questions that may arise in different legal areas due to wildfires.
With the complex legal problems arising from the impacts of wildfires, your patrons may need legal advice.
- Legal Aid BC has a province-wide Call Centre providing legal representation and information services. Call 1-866-577-2525 (toll-free) or 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) to ask for legal help. Eligibility criteria may apply.
- Access Pro Bono provides free legal advice to those impacted by the wildfires. Call 1-877-762-6664 or fill out their online form. Eligibility criteria may apply.
- Use the Clicklaw HelpMap or PovNet’s Find an Advocate tool to locate legal help in a specific area. For communities directly affected by wildfires, it may be best to contact these organizations directly to see if their service hours have been impacted.
All these links have been gathered together in a new Clicklaw Common Question, available here: Where can I get help with legal problems caused by wildfires in BC?
Clicklaw Common Questions are a good place to start when searching for legal information, as they provide a brief summary of the legal problem, links to starting points in your searching, and a list of places to go for legal help.
Remember, you can also get in touch with our reference librarians if you need help in the moment. Our toll-free number and reference email service are staffed Monday through Friday, 9-4, excepting holidays.
Toll-free number: 1-800-665-2570