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MLA Minute: Be vigilant and act now, prepare for wildfires

MLA Doug Clovechok on the wildfire season in B.C.

Doug Clovechok

MLA, Columbia River-Revelstoke

It’s a stressful time in our region during this ferocious wildfire season. We want to ensure that our families, businesses, homes, and livestock are safe. My heart goes out to everybody who is affected in these uncertain times.

In Revelstoke, we tragically lost a bright young soul with BC Wildfire Services in a worksite accident. When I attended the memorial service for Devyn Gale, it was clear that she was an inspirational community leader, loved beyond measure by her wonderful family and community. She will be sorely missed by so many. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Devyn’s family and community for this unspeakable loss.

Please think of all our brave Wildfire fighters and their families. I extend gratitude to every one of them on behalf of all of us who live in Columbia River-Revelstoke.

As I write this, there are several fires in Columbia River-Revelstoke that we are watching very closely. The Horsethief Creek Wildfire was caused by lightning, approximately seven kilometers north of Panorama. Wildfire N22240 at Mia Creek is burning northeast of Canal Flats, and the Nipika fire at Yearling Creek is currently out of control approximately 23km east of Radium Hot Springs. Northwest of Revelstoke the Hiren Creek Fire is currently mapped at 758 acres. There are also dozens of smaller fires at high elevation as a result of recent lightning strikes. The St. Mary’s River Fire resulted in evacuation alerts and orders as it encroached into our region. Sadly, our neighbours of the ?aq’am First Nation lost seven homes to this fire, which is approximately ten percent of the homes in the community. This fire is now classed as being held, thanks to the incredible efforts of our firefighters and support crews.

We must respect BC’s current Category 3 Open Burning Fire Bans and Restrictions. This is serious stuff, folks. Anyone found in contravention may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay up to $10,000 in penalties, or if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

Reduce the feeling of helplessness by visiting the FireSmart BC website. Have you done everything you can to reduce the risks to your property? I’ve heard stories of woodpiles that were burned in the fires that were stacked away from the homes, and the homes survived.

Stay informed by going as close to the source as possible for reliable information. Download the BC Wildfire Service App or visit the BC Wildfire Service website often. The RDEK is also providing Emergency Info Updates. For information on highway travel, visit DriveBC. You can also visit the BC Wildlife Service webpage for more information.




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