Emergency Info

This page will be updated with general emergency information updates and links that may be helpful. You can click on the links below to see the latest information.

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Current Update: October 18, 2017 (9:45 PM)

Open Burning Permitted

The BC Wildfire Service has announced that effective at noon Pacific time on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will once again be allowed throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, due to a decreased risk of wildfire in the region.  Anyone wishing to light a Category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. A burn registration number is not required to light a Category 2 open fire.  A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

Homeowners are encouraged to take the following precautions with any outdoor burning activities:
• Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and to prevent it escaping.
• Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
• Create a fireguard of at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
Incorporated municipalities in the region may have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with their municipality before lighting any fire of any size.

Anyone who lights, fuels or uses a Category 2 or Category 3 open fire must comply with the Environmental Management Act (http://ow.ly/GoEh30fXRHe) and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (http://ow.ly/QfkO30fXRVN). The act requires individuals to check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire and ensure that conditions are favourable for burning. Local venting conditions can be obtained by calling 1 888 281-2992 or visiting: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/

White River Fire - Some of the Forest Service Road Restrictions Removed

As of yesterday, the following Forest Service Roads are now open in the area of the White River Fire (north of Whiteswan):
• White River FSR
• White - Grave FSR
• White-North Fork FSR
• White-Middle Fork FSR
• White-Schoefield FSR
• Lodgepole Creek RP - R05956 section 1.

However, the following sections remain closed until further notice:
• White-East Fork Forest Service Road from 45km to 60km.

This closure is now managed by the Rocky Mountain Forest District with input from us and other considerations- engineering etc. Currently the closure is based on public safety. For inquires about these closures, please call Front Counter BC at 250 426 1766.

Highway 3 Reopened Through Crowsnest Pass

Highway 3 has reopened today through the Crowsnest Pass after being closed yesterday due to a wildfire near Coleman.  Drive BC reports there is still smoke and the possibility of limited visibility in some areas, so you are urged to use caution through that stretch.  The wind continues overnight tonight in the pass and the wind station at Highway 22 and Lundbreck recorded wind speeds of 80km/hr today - a wind warning is in effect for the pass with gusts of 110 km/hr possible through tomorrow morning.

That is the round up.  The only other small update is with regard to the two new fires reported in the Round Prairie area north of Elkford. There is no change reported, neither fire is threatening communities or structures and they had a 4 person crew on both of them.

Red Cross Funding for Small Businesses, Non-Profits, First Nations

The Red Cross has announced it will be providing emergency assistance of $1500 to eligible small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and First Nation people who support their community and its members cultural livelihoods who were directly impacted by the fires this summer in communities that were under evacuation ORDER or ALERT. There is detailed information on the Red Cross website about eligibility and how to apply. You can also call the Red Cross Support to Small Business Helpline at 1-855-999-3345 for more information. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.
Red Cross and Emergency Support Services (ESS) for Individuals

I've had a few people asking this week about eligibility for ESS as they were not aware what they were eligible to receive and others asking about when Red Cross reimbursements can be expected.  I am going to see if I can contact the Red Cross to find out a timeline; however, your best bet is to follow up with them directly at 1-800-863-6582.   If you have questions about ESS, please email lduczek@rdek.bc.ca and we can connect you with someone.

Last edited: Wed, October 18, 2017 - 8:39:28