British Columbia’s wildfire season is well under way as almost 1,000 fires have been sparked so far this year, 55 of which flaring up this week (as of July 12), according to the BC Wildfire Service.
A few of these fires have been spotted around the Clearwater, most recently in the Candle Creek area, sparking concern for many residents. In response, the District of Clearwater released a statement on its website to address the concerns of those within the municipal boundaries.
“Please know that the District is constantly monitoring the rapidly changing fire situation throughout the province and the few fires in the North Thompson area,” the statement reads. “At this time, there is no immediate threat to the District of Clearwater by a wildfire.”
The District, it adds, is in regular communication with BC Wildfire Service.
There also is an Emergency Response Plan, which can be found on their website (districtofclearwater.com), and notes that provides details on possible evacuation notices are not available in the plan as every situation in an emergency is different and requires a different approach.
While the current threat is low, the situation can change very quickly. If an evacuation order were ordered by the District, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and BC Wildfire Service will inform the DOC of the best evacuation route as well as where an Emergency Support Service will be set up to accommodate evacuees from the community.
‘We need to be aware that the risk remains and the situation can change at a moment’s notice,” the statement continues. “We strongly encourage you to be prepared.”
Making sure vehicles are fueled up, having both digital and written copies of important contacts and a go-bag are examples of how to prepare. For more information on how to pack an emergency kit, visit the Government of B.C. website.
The District also encourages residents to have a personal safety plan in place in the event an evacuation order is issued by the mayor. Information on how evacuation alerts and orders are issued can be viewed on the DOC website. Current updates can be found on their Facebook page (@DistrictofClearwater).
The DOC also notes that the TNRD’s Voyent Alert! app doesn’t work within the municipality’s boundary, but those in neighbouring Blackpool, Upper Clearwater, Birch Island and surrounding areas are urged to sign up, as they will receive alerts. The District is currently looking into offering a similar service to their residents.
Residents are also encouraged to fire smart their properties. Additional information on how to do so can be found online (firesmartbc.ca), but the easiest actions are to rake dead fir needles, clear off the perimeter around your house, get rid of debris that may fall on the rooftop and trim trees.
“To reiterate, there is no immediate threat of a wildfire to the District of Clearwater,” the statement concludes. “We are kindly asking District’s water users to conserve water as best as you can to ensure we have enough resources for fire protection if/when it becomes necessary.”