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BC WILDFIRE UPDATE: JULY 19, 2017 - Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs


Posted by Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)


  • BC’s State of Emergency status has been extended by an additional two weeks (August 2nd)
  • As of Wednesday July 19, 2017, there are 155 wildfires burning across B.C.15 of these fires are threatening communities.
  • 15 First Nations communities are affected by the wildfires
  • The newly sworn-in NDP government will now handle the wildfire situation, it is expected Forest and Lands Minister Doug Donaldson and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Scott Fraser will be the primary file appointees, along with supporting staff in the deputy minister’s council.
  • 50 fire fighters will arrive from Australia today, and will mobilize throughout BC while staged in Chilliwack.
  • An estimated 32,000 people are still displaced by the wildfires.
  • Despite cooler temperatures, calm winds and higher precipitation; hot and dry weather is expected to return after Wednesday, with winds up to 30-40 kilometers in some areas. There will be rain in some areas, but it is expected to be spotty and accompanied by lightening; conditions will continue to be monitored.
  • The Hanceville and Riske Creek fires are now considered to be one fire. Successful preventative burn measures were undertaken on Monday; updates to follow.
  • The Whitelake fire is currently 7 kilometers from Williams Lake, crews have enacted measures to protect infrastructure and properties. So far, no damage is being reported.
  • First Nations Policing members are being deployed to Indigenous communities, roles include encouraging evacuation order compliance, liaising with local governance and administrators, and working at check points.
  • The city of Williams Lake remains under an evacuation order, evacuees have been sent to Kamloops, BC (the Sandman Centre in Kamloops is now serves as the primary evacuation center).
  • Vernon, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Surrey and Salmon Arm have evacuation centers open for evacuees
  • The military has been called in to assist the Cariboo region RCMP on an assistance basis; and if needed, to support additional evacuation orders should they be issued.
  • Military assistance has been requested in the Central Region, updates will be available as they come. The request is to address capacity issues regarding check points, as there is a high volume expected as road closures open up.
  • The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has now posted an evacuation order for the areas around Little Fort and north to Clearwater, including the now all-important junction of Highway 24 and Highway 5, warning of imminent danger from fires and advising local residents to evacuate on short notice if necessary.
  • The Cariboo Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for areas south of Nazko and the McFarland Meadows.
  • The powwow grounds at Tk’emlups te Secwepmec (Kamloops) remain open for evacuees. The grounds provide showers, RV space and food. Tk’emlups te Secwepmec may have space for livestock, as well as resources such as water and hay. For information call Ron @ (250) 819-8012. Approximately 500-600 people are on site. First Aid and mental health support services are available.
  • Residents of Ashcroft and Cache Creek are able to return home as of July 18, 2017. Various supporting services are expected to reach the communities in the coming days.
  • If you have concerns that need to be addressed regarding equipment, resources, etc, please bring to the attention of Janice Franklin, 778-679-1921,

For more information visit the following site:

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