August: Plateau wildfire largest in B.C. history, Hanceville-Riske Creek third largest

A look back at some of our stories from August, 2017

Aug. 2

PM Trudeau tours fire zones

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited on Monday, July 30, to thank many people who have worked during the 2017 wildfire crisis in and around Williams Lake.

He also saw the fire-hit areas during a flyover aboard a Chinook helicopter.

Aug. 2

Phase one of pool project open for business

Feet were kicking and arms were paddling while smiles were to be seen all around early this week as phase one of the Sam Ketcham Pool project opened July 31.

Despite the disruption due to the wildfire evacuation, the staff at the Cariboo Regional District, the City of Williams Lake and all of the contractors working on the project managed to pull off an opening for swimming lessons and public swimming, among other things.

Aug. 4

Some services return to local hospital

Interior Health reports that more health care services are now available in Williams Lake as the city continues to rebuild services after the recent wildfire evacuation.

Aug. 4

Lower Mainland Sikh temples donate to local fire victims

The congregations of five Sikh temples in the Lower Mainland came together this week to donate a truck load of food and other supplies for wildfire victims in the Williams Lake region.

Aug. 9

Evacuation order expanded for West Chilcotin

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for much of the Cariboo, despite several being downgraded near Williams Lake.

Aug. 11

Cariboo backcountry closed to public until further notice

All backcountry Crown lands in the Cariboo region will be closed as of 1:30 p.m. Friday, until further notice.

That’s according to the BC Wildfire Service, in hopes the closures decreases the chances of more wildfires sparking. There are currently 148 fires burning in the province.

Aug. 16

Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire grow to 212,079 hectares

The Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire continues to grow and is now an estimated 212,000 hectares, fire information officer Marg Drysdale said from the Riske Creek camp Monday.

On Monday 100 military personnel arrived in Riske Creek and many of them are training to help with firefighting efforts.

Aug. 18

RCMP investigating suspicious fires

RCMP are investigating suspicious fires, one in Alexis Creek where a mobile home burned near Hanceville, while it was evacuated, and a second one in Williams Lake, after five males were arrested in relation to a garage fire in the Lexington Road subdivision.

Aug. 18

West Fraser Road opened

Two more evacuation orders were downgraded to alerts Wednesday by the Cariboo Regional District.

“Today was a good day for us,” CRD chair Al Richmond told the Tribune. “We managed to get rid of some red on our maps and get some folks home to Anahim and Nimpo Lake. We’ve also opened up the West Fraser Road from the Rudy Johnson Bridge going north to Quesnel.”

Aug. 23

Plateau Fire largest in B.C. history

The Cariboo Chilcotin was home to the province’s largest and third largest wildfires ever recorded in B.C.’s history.

Last Saturday evening the Cariboo Fire Centre made the decision to rename the Chezacut, Tautri, Bishop’s Bluff, Baezaeko, Wentworth Creek, Arc Mountain and some others fires as The Plateau Fire because they had joined. At its height it grew to 521,012 hectares. The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire was the third largest and at its height grew to 239,298 ha.

Aug. 30

Rebuilding and homecoming signs of hope

Motorists driving out west on Highway 20 will see homes taken by wildfire, other structures narrowly missed and signs of reslience by the residents who live there.

Hundreds of kilometres of fencing is being replaced or mended to keep cattle off the highway, while a message of hope — Riske Creek Strong — has been scrolled on the window of the Loring home.

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