How can I help wildlife during wildfire season? - BC SPCA
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How can I help wildlife during wildfire season?

What do wildfires mean for wildlife? Just like people, wildfires also impact wildlife. Wild animals have developed strategies to fly, run or bury themselves to escape from fires, but the change in habitat and food resources will have a lasting impact for generations. Especially for fires that occur near urban and suburban areas, you may see wild animals passing through or resting in your yard as they search for safety.

During wildfire season, or in times of severe drought, you can help wild animals:


Wildfire flames burning edge of dry grass

If you do find a wild animal in trouble as a result of a fire, they need help as soon as possible. Before trying to rescue them, make sure they need your help. Trying to catch a wild animal that’s just resting will scare them, wasting precious energy that may be needed to escape a spreading fire.

A wild animal might need help if:

  • There are obvious signs of injury (burns, blood, wounds, etc.)
  • They have been hit by a car, hit a window, or been caught by a pet
  • They seem ‘sleepy’ or don’t respond when you approach
  • They seem dizzy or disoriented, or stumble and fall when they move
  • They are a baby and have been crying for a long time, are covered in bugs, or are cold and not moving very much

If you’re not sure whether a wild animal needs help, call your nearest wildlife rehabilitation centre, or the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722, for advice.

Learn more about how you can help pets and other animals during wildfire evacuations.

Frog covered in ash in hands of firefighters
Photo credit: Coleman Gower