Know the Hazards


WILDFIRE: As we have seen in many places across BC, a wildfire can occur quickly and be devastating.  In 2016, Nelson was identified as one of the top 10 at-risk communities for wildfire. It is important to know that 90% of structures lost in a wildfire are due to embers traveling up to 2 kms from the fire and dropping on homes, dry grasses and other combustibles. While much work is being done in and around Nelson the risk is significant and following FireSmart principles on your property can save your home. Evacuations are often a part of wildfires, so planning for a possible evacuation just makes sense. Learn more about wildfire here.

SEVERE & EXTREME WEATHER: Severe weather is those sudden and often violent storms that bring heavy rains (or snow) with high winds that blow down trees that damage structures and knocks out power.  Extreme weather is events like droughts or prolonged cold spells. Learn more about severe & extreme weather here.

POWER OUTAGE: There are fewer power outages than in the past but when they do occur they may leave you without light, heat and hot water. Planning and preparing for power outages, especially prolonged ones, is important.  Learn more about power-outages here.

FLOOD: Every spring throughout BC, snowmelt, also known as freshet, causes river and stream levels to rise, sometimes to flooding levels. Nelson has a few creeks and streams that may pose flooding issues. As well, depending on circumstances such as snowpacks, temperatures and rainfall, Kootenay Lake may rise significantly causing flood damage. Learn more about flooding here.

PANDEMIC/INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As we have seen in 2020, pandemics don’t happen very often but when they do they can have serious global and local impacts. Things can change quickly and shortages of personal protective and cleaning supplies can happen. Planning and preparing for your family to stay home (shelter in place) just makes sense. Learn more about COVID-19 here.

OTHER HAZARDS: There are other hazards that may be experienced in and around Nelson. Understanding these risks, as well as planning and preparing for them can make a big difference.  Learn more about the other hazards through the Hazard & Risk Vulnerability Analysis.

Natural Disasters & Mental Health

Evacuations, loss, and worry caused by floods, wildfires and other natural disasters in B.C. affect us all. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, you are not alone. Visit the PrepareBC Natural Disaster Health page for ideas and resources to prepare and take care.

Contact Us

  1. Emergency 9-1-1

    Nelson Fire & Rescue Services

    919 Ward Street
    Nelson, BC V1L 5S4

    Non-Emergency: 250-352-3103

    Other Important Contacts: 


    820 Nelson Avenue
    Nelson, BC V1L 5S4

    Non-Emergency: 250-352-2112

    Nelson Police Department

    606 Stanely Street
    Nelson, BC V1L 5S4

    Non-Emergency: 250-354-3919

    Nelson Hydro

    80 Lakeside Drive
    Nelson, BC V1L 5S

    Phone: 877-324-9376 (877-32-HYDRO)

    Kootenay Lake Hospital

    3 View Street
    Nelson, BC V1L 5S4

    Phone: 250-352-3111
    Toll Free: 1-866-352-3111

    City Staff Directory