Wildfire recovery plans and prevention were among the topics discussed at the Cariboo Regional District’s regular board meeting held Friday, Sept. 15 in Williams Lake. Seen here is an image of what once was the historic Lee’s Store, which was claimed by the Hanceville-Riske Creek fire July 7. Angie Mindus photo

Wildfire recovery plans and prevention discussed

Cariboo Regional District holds regular board meeting Friday, Sept. 15

By Emily Epp

Cariboo Regional District

Provincial Ministry Staff Discuss Wildfire Recovery

Staff representatives from Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRO) visited the Board to talk about the province’s wildfire recovery program and plans.

An EMBC representative discussed the province’s recently developed Recovery Branch, which will assist with wildfire recovery. Their scope and mandate is to support community-led recovery. Thinking long-term, the goal is to develop an all-hazard, province-wide integrated recovery program. Concurrently, FLNRO is developing a recovery program focused on all the land-based resources that fall under their Ministry including forestry and wildlife.

The group also announced that EMBC has approved funding for recovery managers for the Cariboo Regional District, City of Williams Lake, District of 100 Mile House and City of Quesnel.

Water Sustainability Act Presentation

David Weir, Water Section Head for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, delivered a presentation to the Cariboo Regional Board (CRD) Board with respect to the Water Sustainability Act. Many related resources are now available online regarding water resource management. If you would like to learn more, visit the links below:

Wildfire Prevention for Williams Lake and Fringe Areas

The Regional District passed a motion of support for the City of Williams Lake’s application for Strategic Wildfire Prevention funding from the Union of B.C. Municipalities. The City of Williams Lake is applying for this funding to implement a Community Wildfire Protection Plan for Williams Lake and surround CRD fringe areas. Learn more about this program at ubcm.ca.

UBCM Conference in Two Weeks

The CRD Board heads to Vancouver Sept. 25-29 for the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention and will meet with Ministers and provincial government ministries to discuss regional concerns. They will also present the five resolutions the CRD has submitted to the UBCM membership regarding agricultural dams, BC Hydro compensation, Boards of Variance, fire mitigation strategy and ranchers’ role in wildfires. Follow the CRD’s Facebook page at facebook.com/caribooregion for updates on UBCM activities and successful resolutions.

Emergency Operations Centre Update

As the number of evacuation orders and alerts in the Cariboo decreases, staff levels in the Emergency Operations Centre lower accordingly. The Emergency Operations Centre has fully moved out of the CRD boardroom in Williams Lake, allowing the Board to meet today as usual.

Once all evacuation orders and alerts are lifted, the Emergency Operations Centre will fully transition to focus on recovery. Emergency operations will be finished; however, the CRD will have a department dedicated to recovery for the next six months at minimum.

The EOC Public Information Phone Line (1-866-759-4977) will be closed over the weekend and operating hours going forward will be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays only. EOC updates continue to be posted at facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations and cariboord.ca.

Next Meeting:

CCRHD & CRD Boards – Friday, Oct. 20