Fire damage at Gun Club causes cancellation of annual Black Powder event

Infrastructure and targets were destroyed, but members hope to rebuild next year.

What was to have been the fifth annual Black Powder event hosted by the South Cariboo Sportsman’s Association (SCSA), at the gun club near Campbell Hill airport south of Cache Creek, is yet another casualty of the Elephant Hill wildfire.

Ken Brown, vice-president of the SCSA, says that the event—which normally takes place over the Thanksgiving weekend—has had to be cancelled this year because the fire destroyed much of the gun club site, including infrastructure and targets.

“The fire went around the clubhouse, parking lot, and trap area,” he says. “But the shooting sheds and target stands burnt, and so did our targets in the bush, as well as the stumps we use for the hawk and knife event.” He adds that the washrooms were also burnt, but have since been replaced.

“We’ve done some rebuilding so people can still use the pistol and rifle range.”

Brown says he’s pretty devastated about the losses at the gun club, because of all the work members have put into it over the years.

“They did so much work on the buildings, and now it’s all destroyed.” He adds that they hope to work on rebuilding at the site next summer.

Brown has had calls from people around the province who usually attend the Black Powder event, asking if it was still going ahead, and had to tell them no. “They were disappointed, because they really enjoy our shoot. They say it’s like a big family. But they understand why we cancelled.”

“Black powder” refers to the fact that participants use weapons that were current in the early- to mid-nineteenth century. They also dress accordingly, donning the costumes of fur traders and mountain men and women. Some even go so far as to sleep under canvas at the events they attend, called rendezvous.

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