Mudslide travel advisory protocol unique to Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton area

Protocol appears to be more cautious than in 2018

Drivers checking Drive BC for road conditions may have noticed travel advisories for highways in the Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Clinton area. The advisories warn drivers for potential debris flows and not to stop during rainfall. It further advises drivers to plan for highway closure in the event of heavy rain. The policy is unique to the area.

It also appears to be a more proactive approach than the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure took last year when it said “it is not practical to close all highways in burn zones each time it rains.”

The area was hit repeatedly by mudslides in 2018 following the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017 that makes them more vulnerable to debris flows.

“During periods of potential rainfall, staff will be increasing monitoring and travel advisories may be issued to minimize the risk to the public,” according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure following the recent advisories.

“This protocol is unique to this area and has been prepared through extensive consultation with geotechnical engineers.”

In 2018, one of the mudslides swept a woman, Valerie Morris, off the road. No travel advisory was in place at that time. Her body is still missing.

Documents obtained by the Free Press through a Freedom of Information request surrounding mudslides on that day showed a MoTI Geotechnical Group engineer was not comfortable with re-opening some of the highways immediately after the mudslides. However, the documents did not mention the heavy forecasted rain prior to the occurrence of the initial mudslides, considerations of closing the highways or issuing a travel advisory nor any engineering assessments outside of a small area (10 Mile Slide) on Highway 99 on the day of the slides or the day prior to the slides (Aug. 10 and 11).

Immediately prior to those mudslides occurring, a ministry spokesperson was unaware if they would be issuing any travel advisories and that the spokesperson hadn’t been linked into anything regarding the Environment Canada forecast.

Following the slides in 2018, the ministry seemed to suggest there was little they could do.

“It is extremely difficult to predict where and when slides will come down and to close all highways downslope of wildfires every time it rains is not practical. We must balance the risks with the considerable consequences of each decision.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


The aftermath of some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

The aftermath of some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Just Posted

Federal Green Party leader visits Ashcroft

Elizabeth May was in town with Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Green Party nominee John Kidder

Historic Cornwall fire lookout to get some tender loving care

Volunteers are being sought for a work bee at the lookout in August

Ashcroft resident now in his 25th year of riding to raise funds for BC Lung Association

Wayne Chorneychuk once more getting ready to ride in the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath

Wildfire smoke can pose serious health risks

Tips to help you stay safe during the smoky summer season

Communities in Bloom judges coming to Ashcroft

All are invited to a meet and greet, where prizes for best gardens and street will be presented

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read