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Central Coast
Regional District
August 8th, 2018
August 8th, 2018

WildFire Update - August 9, 2018

Hello all,

Today´s coordination call included an update from Coastal Wildfire. It sounds like they have re-categorized the fire near Heckman Pass as ´under control´ given the 20 or so firefighters have kept it contained to 40 hectares. Chief Webber participated in a flyover yesterday and my understanding from his comments is that visually it looked like it was out. Thank you to Coastal Wildfire for all their efforts in fighting this fire and keeping Highway 20 open as a result.

Sadly, the fire currently wrapping itself around Sigutlat Lake was last estimated to be 13,800 hectares and growing. Chief Webber commented that the visual appearance of this fire late yesterday afternoon was like lava coming down the mountain. My understanding is that this and the other fires in Tweedsmuir Park continue to be handled with a modified response (i.e. low dedication of resources) given values used to prioritize fire suppression activities remain un-impacted by these fires.  My sense from the coordination call is that fire suppression resources are becoming stretched provincially. With increased wind gusts and possible dry lightning  in the forecast, it is very likely there will be increased growth in these fires and others throughout the province over the next few days. Air quality could become an increasing concern for our Region.

My understanding is that highway travel to and from the Bella Coola Valley remains unobstructed (except for planned road construction), however I continue to encourage you all to monitor Drive BC for updates on road conditions prior to travel (http://www.drivebc.ca/#welcome ). You might also wish to monitor the wildfires through BC Wildfire Services´ interactive map (https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ef6f11c8c36b42c29e103f65dbcd7538 ).

It sounds like there has been some confusion regarding highway accessibility given the Cariboo Regional District issued a relatively large (geographically) evacuation order in response particularly to fire C11837 (Shag Creek fire). Please note that it is the back roads (and grease trails) that are impacted by this order which was issued with such a large boundary to facility egress routes of those occupying the structures in the remote back area (which are actually the target areas of concern). I have attached for your reference the evacuation order, and you can also see the evacuation area and fire perimeters on the BC Wildfire Services´ interactive map. My understanding is that the evacuation order area is larger than the Region would normally issue, however again the purpose of the large geographical boundary of this order is to facilitate egress in a remote and difficult to access area. Highway 20 is not impacted by this Order and as far as I am aware there is no evacuation planned into the Bella Coola Valley at this time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns for your agency that I might help find the answers to.

Please also note, you are on this recipient list dedicated to potential local emergency response coordination needs because either you provided your name and contact to be included on our Nuxalk Nation/CCRD joint Bella Coola Valley Inter-Agency Emergency Council or because you provided your name and contact to help staff our EOC during an emergency activation (i.e. those participants in the emergency management trainings held in Bella Coola earlier this year). If you would no longer like to be part of these updates and call-outs, please advise Destiny Mack (ea@ccrd-bc.ca ) or Evangeline Hanuse (ehanuse@ccrd-bc.ca ).

Thanks everyone and have a great evening.

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