Saturday, July 22, 2017

Quesnel Council meets Tuesday!

With all local governments off until August and the Boards' of Education off until September - Quesnel City Council will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, July 25th starting at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St)

First at 7pm will be the Public Hearing for Bylaw #1828 (Regulating Shipping Containers - City of Quesnel).  View the full Public Hearing Agenda here

Following adjournment of the Public Hearing - Quesnel Council will then start its usual Regular Meeting.  On the Agenda:

* Committee Reports
* Federal Accessibility Grant Application - Legion Beach
* Supportive Housing Development (Elliott Street) - Cancel/Reschedule Public Hearing
* RCMP Cost Sharing Agreement - Quesnel RCMP Detachment Facility
* Off Leash Dog Park Location Reconsideration
* Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw Amendment - Ticketing Changes for Business Licensing
* Northern BC Post Secondary Marketing Initiative Grant Application

View the full Council Meeting Agenda here

~SF

Tzenzaicut Lake area downgraded to Evac Alert

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Pursuant to the BC Emergency Program Act, an Evacuation Order issued by the Cariboo Regional District has been updated, to downgrade a portion of the area to an Evacuation Alert.

Due to immediate danger to life safety due to fire, members of the RCMP or other groups will be enforcing this action.

The new Evacuation Order area includes the areas from the previous Alexis Creek to West Fraser Order #3, with the exception of the following area which has been downgraded to an Alert:

North of Roddie Road West 55 km; South 28 km and East 42 km; South paralleling Garner Road to South of 100C FSR; North side of Coulthard Road to the south side of Soap Lake; North East to South end of Miller Road; East to Fraser River.

This Order reduces the area of the Alexis Creek to West Fraser Road Evacuation Order #3. Please see attached map to see the area that has been downgraded to an Evacuation Alert and which areas remain on Evacuation Order.

For more information contact: 1-866-759-4977   
 
 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update -- July 21st pm

Good evening from a overcast Kamloops...

No changes since yesterday from either the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake.  View the full list of current evacuation alerts/order here

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

I continue to field a number of questions today relating to returning home.  I will state again, for the record, that there is a process to this.  If you wish to inquire on a permit to return home and you are an essential service (basic community services/emergency services) - you can call the CRD Emergency Ops Centre (EOC) Public Info Line at 1-866-759-4977 or the City of Williams Lake Emergency Ops Centre (EOC) at 250-392-2563 or 250-392-2564.  Both EOC's are open from 8am - 8pm daily

Also - From City of Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb:

Here we are Friday morning. Once again I am asking you to be patient. We have all that we can have in place but others need to get their staff back like Dr's and nurses.
Although we have not had any power outages there have been damage to lines around us and one fear is if everyone started using extra power all at once we could loose our entire source. As you will also note the military arrived to support the RCMP on the road check so that the police can patrol the areas of evacuation on a more regular basis.
Once again only essential service people are getting permit to be ready for your return.

Finally - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government (City of WL here/CRD here) or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)



~SF

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reputable and trustworthy sources of information

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The current fire situation arose on Friday July 7. By Saturday, the rumour mill, amplified by social media, was in full swing and most people could no longer discern fact from fiction. It didn’t help that one media outlet reported that Quesnel was under an evacuation alert when we weren’t or that most media outlets were taking a “shock and awe” approach to reporting on all the fires. People were rightly beginning to panic.
It was that backdrop that caused me to try and provide people in the Quesnel area with a place to go for information and I started to post twice-daily updates on Facebook. Since the City of Quesnel did not need to activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) I was not in the same position as my counterparts to the south, who all had to immediately start making rapid-fire decisions to protect lives and homes based on the best information available to them at the time – which was initially sketchy at best.
It was fortunate that my Facebook updates were quickly accepted as being reputable and trustworthy, as they quickly became a place for people to get the information they needed. One result of meeting this need for accessible and easily digestible information was a precipitous drop in the rumour mongering on Facebook – which had an incredibly calming effect on people who were having a hard time discerning fact from fiction or who couldn’t pull the information they needed out of all the websites and news stories that began to overwhelm people with too much information.
As I noted last week, it took time to marshal all the resources needed to fight the fires created as a result of a less than an hour-long weather event. It takes even longer to establish the information and communications systems to inform the public about what is going on in a timely manner and to feed people’s appetite for meaningful information.
Those communications and information systems are now in place and people should now be able to go directly to source for the information they need. The key information sources are, of course, online -- that’s the age we live in. The BC Wildfire Branch, Drive BC, the Cariboo Regional District, Red Cross, and the City of Quesnel websites all now have regularly updated information related to the fire situation here and throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Weather and air quality information can also be easily found online too.
When sourcing any information (at any time) it is important to check the date of the report or story, ensure it is from a reputable source, and, as much as possible, get it from a “primary” source – that is, directly from the issuing authority (Wildfire Branch, CRD, etc.) not second hand. Facebook, generally, is neither reputable nor a primary source of information.
This week a new direct source of information on the Wildfire situation around Quesnel has been established at the new public washroom facility adjacent to the parking lot at Spirit Square where the BC Wildfire Branch has established a staffed information kiosk. We are also posting the printed daily updates of the wildfire situation on all of the community bulletin boards around the City.
Every agency is now doing what it can to provide timely and trustworthy information. It’s up to each of us to seek out that information rather than relying on less reputable sources.
By the way: only about three hundred people have registered for the City of Quesnel’s news releases and updates, yet this is the easiest way to get direct information on this fire situation as soon as it is posted, subscribe here.
Editor's Note -- Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel.  He can be reached via email here

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 20th pm

Good evening from a rainy/windy Kamloops...

No changes since yesterday from either the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake.  View the full list of current evacuation alerts/order here

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

I fielded a number of questions today relating to returning home.  I will state, for the record, that there is a process to this.  Click here for what your local governments (CRD, City of Williams Lake, District of 100 Mile House, First Nations) are doing to get you home

Also - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

~SF

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gibraltar Mines Restarts

Courtesy of Taseko Mines' Ltd:

Editor's Note - Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson is working with the Gibraltar Mine Management Team/City of Quesnel Economic Development Development Department as to how the City of Quesnel can assist.

Taseko Mines Ltd announces that mining and milling operations at the Gibraltar Mine have been restarted following a 4 day period in which the mine had been idled due to restricted site access caused by wild fires in the region.

“The successful restart of Gibraltar involved the efforts of many, including provincial, regional and local officials. Special thanks go out to our employees, many of who have themselves been personally burdened by the impact of the fires yet continued working around the clock manning call centres, providing essential on-site services, volunteering to help fellow employees, all to facilitate a prompt and efficient return to work for the broader workforce,” said Russell Hallbauer, President & CEO of Taseko Mines Limited.

“Why such a big effort by so many to get things moving again and restore normalcy? Simply put, it is the best possible road to recovery for everybody and that has been our collective objective,” replied Mr. Hallbauer.

“Countless people and families in the region have suffered devastating fire loss, and that includes some who work for the Company as mentioned. Sadly, some folks may need months to recover, others may require years. The best thing Taseko-Gibraltar can do, and this would apply to other employers in the region as well, is help people return to work as quickly as they are able,” stated Mr. Hallbauer.

“Limiting employment interruption keeps the payrolls going, which in-turn provides community stability and continuity. Continuing to spend money with local businesses on equipment, services and supplies — which is only possible if employers are up and running — helps the whole region. Most importantly it helps people by giving them the ability to keep paying their bills and mortgages and meeting their obligations at home.

“At this time no fires threaten the mine facility. However, an evacuation order remains in effect for the City of Williams Lake (65 kilometres south of the mine) and the risk of potential wildfire in the region persists.

“With the talent and dedication of our workforce in combination with the expertise and success of thousands of professional and volunteer firefighters who have now come from every province in Canada and as far away as Australia to help in the battle and for which we are entirely grateful, we will be able keep the Gibraltar Mine running and productive and contributing to the recovery,” concluded Mr. Hallbauer.

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 19th pm

Good evening from Kamloops...

No changes since yesterday from either the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake.  View the full list of current evacuation alerts/order here

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

Also - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

Media Technical Briefing Notes yesterday:

* The CRD reduced the size of an Evacuation Order for some properties west of the Fraser River, to allow ranchers easier access to their properties.

* Chair Richmond noted that re-entry in the South Cariboo was more favourable than other areas, at this time.

* Officials have now completed inventory of structures lost specifically in the South Cariboo, Spokin Lake and Miocene areas. Chair Richmond is calling home owners from what he calls a "long list", but the challenge is finding and tracking down evacuees if they haven't registered with ESS, as there is no comprehensive list of cellular numbers available to him, only home telephone numbers.

Other Updates:

1) SPCA Assistance available for those who want their animals checked on their properties - Details here

2) Update on CRD Structure Loss - view here

3) Feedback received on CRD Emergency Notification Service - view here

Final Details:

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here or call 250-392-2364 or 250-392-2365
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

If you feel a need to reach out on the Cariboo-Chilcotin wildfire situation, my number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Taseko Mines receives permits for New Prosperity Work

Courtesy of Taseko Mines Ltd:

Editor's Note - response from Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Government can be viewed here

Taseko Mines received approval from the Province of British Columbia to undertake a site investigation program to conduct exploratory work at the New Prosperity Gold-Copper project site. The Notice of Work (NOW), which is a multi-year permit, will allow the Company to gather information for the purpose of advancing mine permitting under the British Columbia Mines Act.

The opportunities associated with New Prosperity are rare. It has the potential to generate significant wealth and employment for the Province of British Columbia and more specifically, the Cariboo,” commented Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko Mines Limited. “Once in production, it will employ approximately 600 people and contribute roughly $1 million per day of spending on goods, services and labor. This combination of employment and spending means New Prosperity will create $12.7 billion of provincial GDP and increase provincial revenues by over $4 billion and federal revenues by over $2 billion during its life.”

“The value of New Prosperity has yet to be unlocked, however, I believe the magnitude of New Prosperity’s benefits are such that it will be developed into a world-class mine with the highest environmental and safety standards, similar to our nearby Gibraltar Mine,” added Mr. Hallbauer. “New Prosperity would be similar in size to Gibraltar which currently employs 650 people from the Cariboo region. The development of New Prosperity would be an economic catalyst for the struggling communities of the Cariboo. In authorizing Taseko to do this work, the Government of British Columbia is giving us the tools needed to move the project towards its ultimate development.”

In addition to securing Provincial Government approval, the project also requires specific authorizations from the Government of Canada. This work program will yield information which is necessary to advance the Mines Act permitting process.

New Prosperity is located 125 km Southwest of Williams Lake in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of central British Columbia on a low level rolling plateau with a moderate climate and minimal precipitation. Its close proximity to important infrastructure makes for an ideal location for this large-scale project. It is not by any means an engineering or technical challenge. However, like all projects of significance regardless of location in the world, there will be those who object to its development. Provincial regulators and Taseko personnel have been working on the specific details of this work program for over 10 months. Great care and attention has been taken by each to ensure all necessary steps have been taken to fully meet their respective obligations under the permit including those duties related to consultation with local First Nations.

For further information on Taseko, please visit the Taseko website at www.tasekomines.com

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 18th am

Good morning from Kamloops...

No changes since yesterday from either the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake.  View the full list of current evacuation alerts/order here

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

Also - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here or call 250-392-2364 or 250-392-2365
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

If you feel a need to reach out on the Cariboo-Chilcotin wildfire situation, my number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 17th am

Good morning from Kamloops...

Over the weekend - the Cariboo Regional District issued 4 Evacuation Alerts and 4 Evacuation Orders.  For full details, click here

Meanwhile - the City of Williams Lake issued an Evacuation Order this past Saturday night, in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District, as part of their 4 Evacuation Orders issued over the weekend.  Details on the CRD website, link above

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

Media Technical Briefing of yesterday evening:

* 57,000 people impacted by evacuation orders, between 100 Mile House/Williams Lake
* Fire Chiefs are doing inventory losses in communities
* Reminder, that if there is a status change, evacuees from the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be notified
* Mayor Cobb: Difficult days ahead but no structural loss nor has the fire from the north of the City of Williams Lake entered the City

Also - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

If you feel a need to reach out on the Cariboo-Chilcotin wildfire situation, my number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 15th am

Good morning - your air quality reading at 5am was 10 while it was projected to be 7 for today

Late yesterday evening - the Cariboo Regional District issued two evacuation alerts -- one for Tatla Lake (view here) and an evacuation alert expansion for Big Creek (view here)

Meanwhile - the City of Williams Lake's Evacuation Alert issued this past Monday evening remains in place.  Details here

The Evacuation Order for the District of 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active Emergency Operation Centres' in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

Most of us in the Region have been at this level of heightened activity(evac alert/order) for about a week now and as a CRD Electoral Area Director - I would ask that as you interact with staff at the CRD's Emergency Operations Centre, be very kind and gentle with them.  They are trying their very best to meet your needs while worried about their own personal circumstances during the wildfire situation and your assistance in this is greatly appreciated

View last's night technical briefing with the local media here

Also - friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Big Creek Evacuation Alert Area Expansion

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre:

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by Cariboo Regional District at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Cariboo Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for the following areas:
West of the Fraser River from approximately 9 km North of Gang Ranch to the existing Big Creek Alert Area and the existing Fletcher Lake Evacuation order area; directly south of the existing Alexis Creek evacuation order area.
Includes Farwell Canyon road (2000 road), Farwell Canyon, Gaspard Creek FSR, 2000 Road and Mons Creek.
See attached map http://bit.ly/2ujNthY

Tatla Lake Area Evacuation Alert

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre:

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by Cariboo Regional District at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Cariboo Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for the following areas:
East 21.5 km from the existing evacuation order area at Kleena Kleene, including Tatla Lake, northern portions of Bluff Lake Road and Tatlayoko Road, Horn Lake, Lunch Lake, Little Sapeye Lake, the northern portion of Sapeye Lake and Patterson Lake.
See attached map http://bit.ly/2tcSY2f

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 14th am

Good morning - air quality reading at 5am is "7" with this being the maximum air quality health index for today, it is likely that this number will rise

Yesterday - the Cariboo Regional District issued no formal evacuation alerts/orders however CRD Chair Richmond signed a "tactical evacuation" order last night - view more here

Meanwhile - the City of Williams Lake's Evac Alert issued this past Monday evening remains is place.  Details here

The Evacuation Order for 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active efforts in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

Up-to-date information of the Wildfires of Note in the Cariboo Fire Centre can be viewed here

A friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Regional update on alerts and orders in Cariboo region

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Over the past week, the Cariboo region has experienced an unprecedented amount of fire activity. The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) one week ago on Thursday, July 6 to address the emergency situation.
 
Currently, there are sixteen evacuation orders and six evacuation alerts within the Cariboo Regional District. These evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for the safety of the public. The CRD, in consultation with the Cariboo Fire Centre, will not keep individuals from their homes and places of business any longer than is necessary, but public safety is and must remain the top priority.
 
“The Cariboo region is experiencing an emergency situation like never before. We ask residents and evacuees to remain patient and understanding of evacuation alerts and orders as the wildfire situation in the region is still dynamic. The safety of residents is our top priority when we decide to activate orders and alerts or keep them in place,” said CRD Chair Al Richmond.
 
The CRD sends out an update to notify affected residents when the status of an evacuation alert or order changes. Residents are encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text or call regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders: member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup  and for information about all emergency updates, please visit cariboord.ca or facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or @CaribooRD. You may also contact the Public Information Line at 1-866-759-4977.
 
To date, the CRD has confirmed that eight known structures have been lost due to wildfire. All of the affected property owners have been notified. The CRD continues to gather information about the status of structures in the region and will contact individual property owners before releasing details publicly.
 
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the BC Wildfire Service who is working extremely hard to protect our communities as well as all the emergency responders and volunteers who are helping us manage this disaster,” continued Richmond. “Our CRD volunteer fire departments, along with other professional and volunteer fire departments in the region, are working tirelessly to help protect structures. Our Search and Rescue volunteers have been helping evacuate residents when evacuation orders and alerts are issued and countless volunteers are helping in Emergency Social Services (ESS) reception centres as well as in communities across B.C. that are welcoming our displaced residents. Thank you all for your support.”
 
Quick Facts:
  • CRD area under evacuation alert: 2,883 square kilometres 
  • CRD area under evacuation order: 10,858 square kilometres 
  • Total estimated CRD population on alert: 10,750 
  • Total estimated CRD population on order: 9,828

Fire activity and evacuation alert in Williams Lake and areas unchanged

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

As reported this morning, the wind event forecasted to occur on Wednesday did not develop as expected. However, there is a potential that the wind event will occur on Saturday night instead. If it does, it will cause an increase in fire behaviour on active fires. The weather forecast for the Cariboo Fire Centre for today and tomorrow predicts a mix of sun and cloud, with highs in the low to mid-twenties and the potential for isolated showers. Any showers that develop will not bring enough rain to decrease the fire activity on fires. Winds are expected to be gusty. Today, there is a risk of thundershowers in the northeastern region of the fire centre. 
 
The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and the City of Williams Lake continue to monitor fire activity in the area. The evacuation alert for the City of Williams Lake and surrounding areas remains in place.
 
Should this status change, the public will be notified immediately through all means possible. Everyone is encouraged to monitor local radio stations as well as the CRD and City of Williams Lake channels.
 
To find Evacuation Alert information for the City of Williams Lake, visit their website at williamslake.ca, Facebook page at facebook.com/CityWilliamsLake, Twitter @CityWL or contact 250-392-2364.
 
To find Evacuation Alert information for the Cariboo Regional District, visit the CRD’s website at cariboord.ca, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or on Twitter @CaribooRD. You can also contact the Public Information Line at 1-866-759-4977.
 
Residents are encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca or the City of Williams Lake at williamslake.ca.
 
We would also like to remind residents to refrain from lawn sprinkling or other water-use intensive activities so that water reserves will be available, if required, for firefighting activities.

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update -- July 13th am

Good morning - today's air quality reading is 11, as at 9am

Yesterday - the Cariboo Regional District issued one evac alert and one evac order -- details here

Meanwhile - the City of Williams Lake's Evac Alert issued this past Monday evening remains is place.  Details here

The Evacuation Order for 100 Mile House remains in place while there are no active efforts in Quesnel/Wells in relation to wildfires

At last night's media technical briefing:

* 17 evacuation orders in effect. 34,380 people in total are affected over a 11,000 square km area. 1 New Evac Order/1 Evac Alert issued, Evac Order (Chilcotin River) to affect a few hundred people
* 3500 to 4000 calls today from the public at the CRD Emergency Operations Centre
* 12,000 people today (July 12th) in the Williams Lake ESS reception centre. It was a quieter day. Total number of people register is 13,017
* 2 lost structures confirmed in the 108 Mile Ranch Fire
* Power was also restored in the 108 Mile Ranch and 103 Mile.

A friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Big Creek Evacuation Alert

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by Cariboo Regional District at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Cariboo Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for the following areas:
  • A 15.5 km wide area running from the junction of the Farwell Canyon Road and the Mons Creek FSR (2051 km), west to McDermott Creek, north of Kloakut Lake.
  • Including Rushes Lake, Big Creek, Mons Lake, Sky Ranch Road, Rocky Lake FSR, Ground Hog Creek FSR, and Mud Creek FSR.
An Evacuation Alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises or property should it be required.

Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.

There is an Evacuation Order to the north of this area along the Fletcher Lake Road.

Evacuation route is north along the Fletcher Lake Road to Lees Corner and east along Highway 20.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN AN ALERT IS IN EFFECT

Upon notification of an ALERT, you should be prepared for the evacuation order by:
  • Locating all family members or co-workers and designate a Reception Centre outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation be called while separated.
  • Gathering essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance), immediate care needs for dependants and, if you choose, keepsakes (photographs, etc). Have these items readily available for quick departure.
  • Preparing to move any disabled persons and/or children. 
  • Moving pets and livestock to a safe area. 
  • Arranging to transport your household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order. If you need transportation assistance from the area please call 250-392-6284.
  • Arranging accommodation for your family if possible. In the event of an evacuation, Reception Centres will be opened if required.
  • Monitoring news sources for information on evacuation orders and locations of Reception Centres.
For continued information visit the Cariboo Regional District’s website at http://www.cariboord.ca or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations
For more information contact: Emergency Operations Centre Public Information Line at 1-866-759-4977

South of Chilcotin River to Fletcher Lake Evacuation Order

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Pursuant to the BC Emergency Program Act, an Evacuation Order has been issued by the Cariboo Regional District.

Due to immediate danger to life safety due to fire, members of the RCMP or other groups will be expediting this action.
  • The Evacuation Order is in effect for the following areas: 
  • An 8 km wide area running south from the existing evacuation area south of the Chilcotin River at Hanceville to Abrams Lake, including Fletcher Lake Road (700 Road) and Fletcher Lake. Stone Reserve is covered under an existing evacuation order.
  • There is the Big Creek evacuation alert directly south. 
The evacuation Route is north along the Fletcher Lake Road through Lee’s Corner and east on Highway 20.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
  • You must leave the area immediately. 
  • Follow the travel route provided and register at the ESS Reception Centre at Williams Lake Secondary School or the ESS Reception Centre in Prince George at the College of New Caledonia – West Entrance
  • If you need transportation assistance from the area please advise the individual providing this notice or call 250-392-6284
  • Close all windows and doors 
  • Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers
  • Close gates (latch) but do not lock 
  • Gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help 
  • Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and Keys) only if they are immediately available. take pets in pet kennels or on leash.
  • Do not use more vehicles then you have to. 
  • Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service. 
YOU MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact: CRD call center/info line 1-866-759-4977

Quesnel SkyFest 2017 Cancelled

Courtesy of the Quesnel SkyFest Society:

The Quesnel SkyFest Society is deeply concerned with the current wildfire situation throughout the province and in particular the Cariboo Region. Our thoughts are with all the families directly and indirectly impacted by this catastrophic and historic event.

The Quesnel Airport has now been designated a fire support base by the Provincial Forest Service and government. This status is officially put in place for a minimum of 30 days which directly overlaps the Quesnel Airshow holiday long weekend event. This airport designation and level of fire attack activity will render it all but impossible to conduct an airshow simultaneously with fire suppression activities. Therefore, after careful consideration of all the circumstances, and in consultation with the City of Quesnel, the Quesnel SkyFest Society will be cancelling the Quesnel Airshow for the 2017 season.

The Society is reviewing and considering all options whether the show will be postponed to 2018 and or other possibilities. We will provide this information in a further news release as soon as we are able.

This decision is a heavy one to make at this point in time, given the thousands of volunteer hours already put into making this year’s show one of the biggest and best thus far. We were planning many new activities in light of the Canada 150 Celebrations that have been ongoing throughout the country this summer. A great number of volunteers have been directly or indirectly impacted by the current wildfire situation and yet, have continued to work tirelessly toward hosting yet another successful event. The directors of the Society wish to extend our heartfelt thanks for their commitment and wish everyone the best in the face of these current challenges. We hope that the spectator crowd, sponsors, performers, and all those impacted by this decision will exercise compassion and understanding at this time.

We realize cancellation of this year’s event will be a disappointment to some but know that a great number of people planning to attend, working, and or volunteering at this event will have their focus on the safety of their families and properties. The Quesnel SkyFest Society and the City of Quesnel feel this is the responsible thing to do at this time and will update everyone once new plans have been finalized.

Sincerely,

Jerry van Halderen
Quesnel SkyFest Society President

Evacuation alert update for Williams Lake & Area

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and the City of Williams Lake continue to monitor the fire situation. Evacuation Alerts and Orders are issued on the recommendation of the BC Wildfire Service.

On Monday, July 10, the Cariboo Regional District issued an evacuation alert for fringe areas around Williams Lake and the City of Williams Lake issued an alert for the entire City, due to predicted weather that has the potential to push fires west of Williams Lake toward the City of Williams Lake at a rapid pace. The alert was precautionary, but it is important to give residents ample warning so they can make necessary arrangements.

How can I prepare?
If you have to evacuate, please remember to register with the local emergency reception centre so you can be contacted or reunited with your family and loved ones. Also, be sure to:
  • Listen to the radio and follow instructions from local emergency officials 
  • Take an emergency survival kit with you 
  • Ensure you take prescription medicine and all important documents 
  • Shut off water and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so and if you are sure you have sufficient time. Unplug all electrical household items. Leave natural gas service 'on' unless local officials advise you otherwise.
  • Take your pets with you and make arrangements to move pets and livestock to a safe area
  • Fuel your car before the evacuation and pack water and non-perishable food for the car
  • Wear clothes and shoes appropriate to conditions 
  • Secure your home and lock the doors 
  • Follow the routes specified by emergency officials and don’t take shortcuts as a shortcut could take you to a blocked or dangerous area. Stay away from downed power lines
  • Contact your out-of-area emergency contact (identified in your personal emergency plan) to let them know what has happened, that you are ok, where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
Emergency Reception Centres
  • People on alert or who are self-evacuating are encouraged to register in-person at reception centres in Williams Lake at the Lake City Secondary School Carson Campus and in Prince George at the College of New Caledonia (West Entrance). 
Evacuation Routes
Please find below an update on the current road situation in the Cariboo for people who are evacuating or self-evacuating. Note that this information is current, but the situation may change. Please ensure that you check Drivebc.ca for the most up-to-date road and evacuation information.  If you are:
  • North of 100 Mile on Highway 97 (includes Williams Lake City) you have to leave the areas via Highway 97 north to Prince George.
  • South of 100 Mile on Highway 97 you have to leave the area via Highway 24.
  • In the Horsefly area, take the Beaver Valley Road, the Ditch Road or the Range Road (Gavin Lake Road) to the Likely Road and then take the Beaver Lake Road to Highway 97 north.
  • In the Chilcotin, you can get through on Highway 20 (east-bound only) to Williams Lake and then leave north on Highway 97 to Prince George. An alternate route is to go through Farwell Canyon and the Gang Ranch to Dog Creek Road to Enterprise Road to Highway 97 and then head north to Prince George. 
  • If you are unable to get to Highway 97 south due to the Canim-Hendrix Road closure (located between Highway 97 and Sunman Road), see the attached map for a route to Highway 24. The route is staffed with check points, signs, and patrols, and is being treated with dust control. 
  • Please note: there is no access south on Highway 97 at Kersley. Access is limited to essential services only.
For More Information
You can find information on each CRD Evacuation Order and Alert at cariboord.ca or on Facebook at CRD Emergency Operations Centre. If the information about a specific area has not been updated in a while, that is because the information is still relevant and has not changed. For further information, call the CRD’s public information telephone line at 1-866-759-4977.

Please also find information about the City of Williams Lake, specifically, at the City’s website williamslake.ca and Facebook page facebook.com/CityWilliamsLake and Twitter @CityWL. For further information, please call the City of Williams Lake EOC at 250-392-2364 or 250-392-2365.

Tough decisions and difficult times

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

With the exception of the Gustafsen Fire that forced the evacuation of 100 Mile House, it’s very important we all remember how quickly this current fire situation came about. As a result of a short burst (really only about an hour long) lighting and windstorm, we went from enjoying the summer heat settling in and preparing for Billy Barker Days to out of control fires and whole communities being evacuated. Our expectations of the decision-makers and their response to the current fire situation has to constantly be moderated by recalling the speed with which our circumstances changed and the massive scope of the challenge that short storm presented them with.

It’s so easy to second guess decision-makers at the best of times, when everyone should be able to access the same information, have time to digest it, and not have any time pressures to make a decision. But, even in those circumstances, the second-guessers will often fail to take into account all the complexities involved in the decision-making process or neglect to account for the law and due process. It’s even easier, ironically, to armchair manage emergency situations, especially with the “help” of social media, because life in a living room is so much calmer than the pressure cooker situation of needing to make decisions with limited or incomplete information, changing data, and imminent threats to life and personal property.

The Cariboo fire situation is extremely complex and very broad in scope, both geographically and with respect to the number of simultaneous major fires threatening multiple communities. It took longer to set up the CRD’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) than it took for Mother Nature to set our forests ablaze. Fire fighting resources then had to be marshaled from all over the province and very difficult decisions had to be made to assign limited resources to multiple fires that were moving quickly and unpredictably. The EOC then came under fire threat and had to be relocated. Fire behavior kept changing. Local weather and wind is unpredictable and directly affected by local fires. Fire fighting, telecommunications, emergency response and other critical resources quickly became stretched thin (people and equipment need downtime too). Yet, decisions still had to be made quickly and as proactively as possible to avoid any catastrophic loss of life and to try to minimize damage to critical infrastructure and personal property.

We should all try to understand that the difficulties confronting these decision makers would make most of us run for the hills. Many of these decision makers became evacuees themselves and had to carry the additional burden of worrying about their own loved ones and their own homes. They deserve our respect and understanding and support, not judgment and condemnation.

I have appreciated the feedback people have given me about the usefulness of my daily Facebook posts and other means of communication about our community’s situation. With Quesnel out of the maelstrom at this time, I have had the luxury of time to parse through all the information coming at me and try to make sense of it for our residents. I have not had to make any time sensitive decisions. So, I’ve had it very easy relative to my counterparts to the south – they have my utmost respect and gratitude for their tireless efforts to protect their communities and keep their residents safe by making very tough decisions during these very difficult times.

Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel. He can be reached via email here

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 12th

Good morning:

Yesterday - only the District of 100 Mile House extended its' Evacuation Order for up to an addition 7 days - read more here while the City of Williams Lake is still under a community-wide evacuation alert (pack up items and being ready to leave on a moment's notice) and the Cariboo Regional District did not issue any Evacuation Alerts or Orders yesterday - for the full list of current CRD Evacuation Alerts or Orders - click here

Meanwhile - neither the City of Quesnel or the District of Wells is currently engaged in wildfire activity, by way of activation of their Emergency Operations Centres'

Yesterday afternoon - officials from the Cariboo Regional District, City of Williams Lake, BC Ministry of Transporation, BC Wildfire Service and the RCMP held a public meeting to update evacuees with regard to the ongoing wildfire situation - full video below (courtesy of the Williams Lake Tribune):




Yesterday evening - the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations' Centre held a technical brief with local media - wrap on the briefing (courtesy of CaribooRadio.com):

There are 16 evacuation orders in effect and 6 evacuation alerts in effect. Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operation Centre received between 2500 to 3000 calls per day from the public. The number of people affected by the wildfires in the Cariboo Regional District: 12,400 populations under alert:

9500 under order
10,500 Williams Lake alert
1980 100 Mile order
34,380 total people in Williams Lake & 100 Mile affected

Also, CRD Chair Al Richmond commented about the recent problem with the congestion of watercraft on Lac La Hache Lake, Watson Lake and Horse Lake. He urged that all watercraft stay to the shores of the lakes because all aircraft have the right of way.

City of Williams Lake CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) Milo McDonald said Williams Lake had a good day with much progress. The evacuation alert remains in place and he had notice that many people have left the community. The RCMP has been very supportive throughout the evacuation alert and has provided additional security.

Williams Lake Mgr of Community Safety Dave Dickson stated that is was a busy day for all the volunteers at the Lake City/Carson Campus in Williams Lake. 4885 people registered and 9500 people registered in total. The Williams Lake Emergency service Centre is looking for volunteers to help with the registration process. Stop by the campus if you are interested in volunteering.

100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall noted that 100 Mile had a better day, not a great day but a better day. The fire is still big and the firefighters tried to back burn with no luck. There was not enough wind to help with this procedure. He did hear some Great News concerning some of the evacuees in Kamloops and Prince George. They have been treated wonderful in each of the different communities and it’s been emotionally over whelming for many. Mayor Campsall said we are moving forward and not giving up.

Milo McDonald did his best to answer a question about tomorrow’s weather, with the understanding that the areas are expecting a milder weather forecast for Wednesday. Stating that we are just playing the cards we are dealt.

Dave Dickson did say that people should register now, just in case a evacuation does take place. It makes the process a whole lot smoother and easier for love ones looking for family members. Dave also noted that the registration centre has been running 24/7. He is hoping for a quiet night and will reopen at 6am but if the demand is there, we will be there.

Finally, as Dave Dickson suggested, I registered with the City's ESS Team in the possibility of being directed to evacuate to Prince George.

A friendly reminder to continue to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 Billy Barker Days’ Festival Cancelled

Editor's Note -- no one should be saddened by this decision, it was the right one, given wildfires in the Region and I commend everybody for coming to this decision together

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The not-for-profit organizations coordinating events for the 2017 Billy Barker Days Festival met on July 10th to consider cancellation of this years’ events.
The wildfires in the Cariboo are not contained and the weather forecast for this week calls for wind and high temperatures. This decision was not only necessary but made out of respect and empathy for those displaced from their homes and the personnel working on these fires.
The rationale for cancellation is as follows:
  1. Travel throughout the Cariboo is limited and the Emergency Operation Centre recommends that any unnecessary traffic be minimized on all highways in the area.
     
  2. Our area already has a high concentration of particulates in the air, which could worsen depending on the surrounding fires and winds. This can present medical issues for those with respiratory conditions.
     
  3. The RCMP – Quesnel Detachment are fully engaged in evacuation and traffic control (roadblocks) throughout the North Cariboo and not able to provide the required support for the festival.
     
  4. Prior to the increased urgency in our area, the Quesnel Fire Department sent a crew and a Fire Engine to assist 100 Mile House, so their ability to respond to local calls for service is limited.
     
  5. Currently, G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital is working over capacity due to receiving patients from hospitals in evacuated communities. Billy Barker Days always represents an increased work load, and their resources are already stretched.
     
  6. All emergency operations agencies agree that it is important that Quesnel is able to respond with assistance to our neighbors, should we need to accommodate evacuees or provide support. Additionally, should the wildfire situation impact Quesnel directly, we need to be in a position to move swiftly. We need to keep facilities, parks and personnel available and roads clear should the fire situation change and local support be required.
For up to date information, please visit the Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operation Facebook page or call their Public Information Line at 1-866-759-4977.
Quotes:
Mayor Bob Simpson, City of Quesnel
“The City of Quesnel fully supports the Billy Barker Days’ Society’s decision to cancel this years’ event. This is the right decision during this uncertain time and, our focus needs to be with those affected and those fighting tirelessly to assist and mitigate the ongoing emergent nature of the wildfire situation throughout the Cariboo.”
Maureen Murray, President, Quesnel Billy Barker Days’ Society
“Out of respect for the wellbeing of our community, the Billy Barker Days Society has decided to cancel the 2017 Billy Barker Days Festival.”
Tim Cawdell, Executive Director, Quesnel Downtown Association
“The Quesnel Downtown Association feels that proceeding with the Billy Barker Days Festival would put locals, visitors, and vendors in an unsafe situation and have cancelled their Gold Dust Mall event.”
Ray Jasper, President, Quesnel Rodeo Club
“The Quesnel Rodeo Club has cancelled the 2017 rodeo. This decision was made in consultation with emergency services, the Billy Barker Days’ Society and all other event and City representatives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those on the fire lines including some of our Rodeo members.“
Dustin Brown, Quesnel Auto Racing Association
“The Quesnel Auto Racing Association supports the decision to cancel the Billy Barker Days’ festival and will not be proceeding with Crash to Pass or the Saturday races, as safety of our racers and the public comes first. Our thoughts are with those affected by the fires.”

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update -- July 11th morning

Good morning:

Another volatile day of wildfire activity in the Cariboo Regional District region with the air quality index sitting at 35 - Very Health Health Risk and people should limit their time outdoors

Right now:

1) The City of Williams Lake has issued an community-wide Evacuation Alert - details here

2) A number of Electoral Areas in the CRD have either continuing or new Evacuation Alerts/Orders, all of which can find here and on the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre Facebook page here

A friendly reminder to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 10th morning

Good morning:

Yesterday, was another volatile day of wildfire activity in the Cariboo Regional District region:

Right now:

1) District of 100 Mile House has fully evacuated, as of 8:48pm last night

2) A number of Electoral Areas in the CRD have either Evacuation Alerts or Orders, all of which can find here and on the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre Facebook page here

3) City of Williams Lake has two Evacuation Alerts for a portion of South Lakeside and a portion of Broadway Avenue South from McDonald's Restaurant to Rowat Road - full details here

A friendly reminder to rely ONLY on official sources for Evacuation Alerts or Orders from your local government or through the local media - Tribune (click here) or Vista Radio (click here)

1) If you reside in the City of Williams Lake -- click here
2) If you reside in the Electoral (Rural) Areas of the  Cariboo Regional District - click here or call the CRD EOC Public Information Line at 250-398-5117

Other useful links:

1) DriveBC -- click here
2) BC Hydro - click here

I will continue to post on Facebook (click here) and here as further information develops

As well and as long as I haven't been ordered by the City of Williams Lake to evacuate, I will be continue to be available to firstly, CRD Area D residents', and secondly, to anyone else, to consult with, as to official information or otherwise and point you in the right direction, relative to the developing wildfire situation.  My number is 250-267-6725 or reach out to me on Facebook (click here)

~SF


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Fire Update - July 9th afternoon

1) Cariboo Regional District

Areas J/K -- http://www.mycariboonow.com/21879/evacuation-order-expands-include-riske-creek/

Area D -- http://www.mycariboonow.com/21884/evacuation-order-expanded-cariboo-wildfires/

All current evacuation alerts or orders still stand.  You can view those here or on the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre Facebook page here

2) City of Williams Lake

Evacuation ALERT for a portion of Broadway Avenue South past McDonalds -- full details here

For highway closures in the Region -- click here

~SF

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cariboo-Chilcotin Forest Fire Update - July 8th afternoon

1) Cariboo Regional District

The Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre closed at 1:00AM Saturday July 8 and reopened at 7:00AM.

There have been no changes in evacuation orders or alerts since Friday evening.

CRD volunteer fire departments have been working non-stop to protect the properties within their communities where fires have been active. Multiple agencies and government levels are working as a team in support of all first responders, evacuees and property values of all kinds.

This event is ongoing and the help, cooperation and understanding, of all persons involved or affected will ultimately provide us all with the best possible results.

Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca. For up to date fire information, please follow the Cariboo Fire Centre on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo or call 1-888-336-7378. For up to date information on Highway closures, please visit www.drivebc.ca. For more information regarding evacuations, please visit the CRD’s website at cariboord.ca, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or on Twitter @CaribooRD, or call the Public Information line at 250-398-5117.

2) City of Williams Lake

The City of Williams Lake continues to monitor fire activity, with Williams Lake Fire Department members on standby. At the time of this release, the following routes are open:

- Northbound from 100 Mile House to Williams Lake
- Northbound from Williams Lake to Quesnel
- Little Fort at junction of Highway 24 and Highway 5

The Highway from 100 Mile South of the Highway 99 junction to Cache Creek is closed.

An evacuation alert has been issued for South Lakeside from the Seventh Day Adventist Academy east to the City boundary, with residents urged to be prepared should an evacuation order be issued.

Residents are advised to make efforts to reassure relatives of your safety and whereabouts so emergency phone lines are not affected. As well, the City encourages all residents to pack their essentials and valuables so they are prepared should an evacuation order be issued for their residence.

For information of an urgent nature, call 250-392-2364 or 250-392-2365.

Also - the City urges residents' to conserve water for firefighting efforts by limiting water use. Please do not use your sprinklers until further notice

Friday, July 7, 2017

Provincial State of Emergency Declared

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC, this evening announced a provincial state of emergency to ensure a co-ordinated response to the current wildfire situation and to ensure public safety.

Today alone there have been 56 new wildfire starts throughout the province. Evacuation alerts and orders have been issued for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton. These are in addition to the evacuation orders and alerts issued yesterday for 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House. The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province.

Given the current wildfire situation and the expected increase in wildfire activity, the Province is taking this extraordinary measure of declaring a provincial state of emergency.

This is an urgent situation and public safety is the top priority. The Province will continue to keep the public informed in this rapidly evolving situation.

The state of emergency gives agencies such as Emergency Management BC, the Fire Commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the RCMP authority under the Emergency Program Act to take every action necessary to fight these wildfires and protect residents and their communities.

Background

Declarations of provincial states of emergency are issued by the minister responsible under the Emergency Program Act. The last provincial declaration of state of emergency was issued in August 2003 to deal with wildfires.

Learn More:

For information on evacuation orders and alerts, visit Emergency Info BC: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/

Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation: www.bcwildfire.ca

Wild Fire at Alexandria

From the BC RCMP:

On Friday July 7, 2017 at approximately 4:00 pm the Quesnel RCMP were alerted to several wild fires burning south of Kersley BC. RCMP officers were deployed and located several fires burning on both the East and West sides of the Fraser River as well as Highway 97 near the Alexandria First Nations reserve. Some of the wild fires have turned into interface fires.

Although there has been no official evacuation order, police are conducting tactical evacuations advising residents of the potential risks and asking them to leave their homes at this time, for their safety.

The Ministry of Forests have forest fire crews on scene who are attacking the fire.

An Emergency reception centre has been set up at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre (Quesnel Aquatic Centre) located at 500 North Star Road in Quesnel. Anyone displaced from their home due to the wild fires in the Alexandria area are asked to register at that location and will be provided further information at that location.

Quesnel RCMP would like to the thank those who have assisted in ensuring their friends and neighbours were safely removed from their homes.

City of Williams Lake Emergency Operations Centre Activated

The City of Williams Lake has activated its Emergency Operations Centre at the Fire Hall and continues to monitor fires in the immediate area.

At this time there is no immediate threat to any structures or property within City boundaries.

The City asks that everyone please refrain from sprinkling, or using water in large volumes, until further notice. This will ensure that there are sufficient water reserves for firefighting should they be required.

For information of an urgent nature, call 250-392-4321

Gustafson FSR Fire Update #5

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Pursuant to the BC Emergency Program Act an Evacuation Order has been issued by the Cariboo Regional District.

Due to immediate danger to life safety due to fire, Members of the RCMP or other group will be expediting this action.

The Evacuation Order is in effect for the following areas:

West of Hwy 97 from the northern portion of the 108 Mile Ranch north along the highway to the southern tip of Lac La Hache, then north along the western shore of Lac La Hache to the northern tip of Lac La Hache, and follows the eastern side of Wright Station Road south to boundary of the 105 Mile geographic area.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

You must leave the area immediately

When evacuating you should travel north on Hwy 97 and go to the reception centre at the Ramada Inn located at 1118 Lakeview Crescent in Williams Lake

If you need transportation assistance from the area please advise the individual providing this notice or call250-398-5117

Close all windows and doors

Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers

Close gates (latch) but do not lock

Gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help

Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and Keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.

Do not use more vehicles then you have to.

Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.

YOU MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact: CRD call center/info line 250-398-5117