District extends State of Emergency another week

District extends State of Emergency another week

There’s lots of work ahead, but today was a good day: BC Wildfire Service

A State of Emergency for the Telegraph Creek area has been extended another week as crews continue to fight the wildfire now more than 30,000 hectares in size.

The declaration by the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine effective until Aug. 17 11 a.m. unless cancelled, allows for the evacuation orders in Telegraph Creek, and evacuation alert stretching northwest toward Dease Lake, to remain in place.

The coldfront winds in the forecast did not materialize last night, but today small measures of optimism began to emerge.

To applause from a community meeting in Dease Lake this afternoon Tahltan Chief Rick Mclean announced a rancher’s 30 horses stranded and once feared lost to the fire have all been transported to safety.

“It was nice to get down there and see them…I was quite relieved,” he said.

He added BC Hydro reestablished power to some locations in Telegraph Creek, and with a full hydro crew tomorrow he anticipates further progress.

On the firefighting front B.C. Wildfire Service also shared some good news.

“It was a day with a lot of success in a lot of different ways,” said incident commander Hugh Murdoch. “Our helicopters weren’t as busy today. Mother Nature came in with Tanker 1 … it didn’t rain as much [as we would like] but it took a bit of the edge off…and it gave our crews a chance to make a lot of progress.”

Night crews will be out again tonight in Telegraph Creek, he added, which will allow for progress “around the clock.”

“Structure protection units are on the ground — Culture Camp and Old Town, everything is good there also. It’s nice to have a bit of good news. There’s still lots and lots of work for everybody, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that today was a good day.”