Estimated 41 homes lost in fires

As of press time Thursday the CRD had issued 19 evacuation orders and 12 evacuation alerts since the Emergency Operations Centre opened July 6. The CRD’s evacuation orders and alerts cover about 24,000 square kilometres.

Approximately 35,116 people have been impacted by evacuation orders and alerts throughout the Cariboo region, including the City of Williams Lake and the District of 100 Mile House.

In areas where it is safe to do so, the CRD is conducting comprehensive assessments with the help of volunteer fire departments and search and rescue crews to determine the number of structures lost.

The CRD continues to gather information about the status of structures throughout the region and to make every effort to contact owners of impacted structures before releasing details publicly.

An estimated 13,274 parcels of land are on evacuation order or alert throughout the regional district. So far, the CRD has confirmed that 41 homes have been lost.

“I would like to express my sincere regrets to those who have lost homes and other structures in the Cariboo region. I encourage our communities to extend love and support to these families as we do so well here in the Cariboo,” CRD Chair Al Richmond said.

“Also, thank you to the BC Wildfire Service and all the structural firefighters who continue to work so hard to protect our communities. I cannot express how thankful we are for your continued efforts.”

During the recent wildfire events Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) put the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to use. The system is a very powerful tool for keeping people affected by the evacuation alerts and orders updated with current information.

Since the activation of the EOC July 6 registrations for the alert system have tripled and the number continues to grow. CRD encourages residents to continue to register on their website, www.cariboord.bc.ca/. For those who have not registered for the system, the CRD is still able to notify anyone from the region who has a White or Yellow Pages listing.

As these listings are typically home-based landlines, please consider creating or updating your account to register a mobile phone, email or current (evacuee) contact information.

This will ensure you receive updates about the addresses you have registered, including information about when the CRD lifts evacuation orders.

The CRD has received feedback that while people appreciate the information provided, certain aspects of the emergency notification system have frustrated some. In response to this feedback, EOC staff are fine-tuning the notification settings to improve usability.

Specifically, we are allowing more time to confirm the first notification before the second round of notifications begin. If you receive a notification, respond as requested to confirm you received the notification.

Reply YES to a text, click the link in an email, or press one at the end of the phone message. If you respond to the notification, the second and third attempts at contacting you will be cancelled.

The CRD knows that in times of emergency having access to reliable and timely information is key to providing peace of mind.