Trucks from Merritt and Barriere fire departments join those from Blackpool in front of the Blackpool firehall last weekend. A unit from Blue River has been assisting in Clearwater as well.

Mayor appreciates help for Clearwater

Firefighters and search and rescue volunteers coming to assist

By Keith McNeill

Clearwater and Blackpool fire departments have been receiving aid during the present forest fire emergency from other departments, including Blue River, Barriere and Merritt.

“One of the really good things that we’re seeing is other people coming to support us,” said Clearwater mayor John Harwood, commenting on the firefighters and their vehicles from other jurisdictions.

“People are getting a positive feeling at a critical time.”

The mayor noted that search and rescue volunteers from places such as Kamloops, Barriere, Shuswap had gone door-to-door with staff from BC Parks, Conservation Officer Service, Blackwell Park Operations and RCMP to deliver evacuation alert notices in Clearwater and Blackpool.

Three public information meetings have been held at Clearwater Secondary School since the fire emergency began on July 7, he said.

The latest one, which was held on Sunday evening, July 16, had the largest attendance so far.

As of Monday morning, a video of the meeting had had about 9,000 views.

“That’s definitely getting the meeting out there,” he said.

Harwood said the fire situation is hurting the local business community hard.

“This will affect the whole community and its well-being for a while,” the mayor predicted.