Locals stranded by wildfires asked to register for assistance

Locals affected by wildfire activity should be eligible for assistance

Locals affected by wildfire activity should be eligible for assistance even though the fire has not directly impacted the Bella Coola Valley.

Many people are now stranded out of town and unable to get home due to fires along Highway 97 and Highway 20. Fires near Williams Lake resulted in a total evacuation of the city yesterday.

Elizabeth Howard is a local resident who has been stranded in the lower mainland due to the fires. She said it has been a challenge to find a route home.

“We initially were placed number 13 on the wait list for the ferry to Bella Bella July 25, but have since been confirmed,” she said. “We still aren’t sure if we qualify for assistance from the Red Cross or the ESS, but we should find out later today.”

BC Ferries is providing free ferry transportation on any BC Ferries’ route for evacuees. Evacuees should call BC Ferries call centre at 1 888 BCFERRY (1 888 223-3779) to secure their travel. For more details, see the news release at: http://www.bcferries.com/about/media_room/newsreleases.html

It’s unknown how many residents are stranded outside of the community due to the fires but the situation is getting attention from local politicians. This is the largest evacuation in B.C. history and provincial and federal assistance is at an all time high.

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, issued a statement yesterday regarding the situation.

“For residents who are stranded due to wildfires and can’t get home to the Bella Coola Valley, there is financial support through Emergency Social Services (ESS) to assist even though you are technically not from an evacuated community,” she said. “The way to get assistance is from the ESS in the current community you are in. Call 1-800-585-9559 to find your local ESS contact info.”

The Central Coast Regional District is also asking for input from residents on the current situation.

“From your perspective, what are the gaps in the community as far as coordination and communication regarding the wildfires along Highway 20? What are your concerns? What do you personally have to offer in the event of evacuation of Chilcotin residents to the Bella Coola Valley, such as accommodation, room for pets and livestock, food, etc.?,” said Alison Sayers, Area C Director. “We are working in partnership with Nuxalk Nation to identify all these things and address them. Written messages are preferable to phone calls. Private messages can be sent to asayers@ccrd-bc.ca Thank you.”

Just Posted

Danika Naccarella to receive BC Creative Achievement Award

For the past few years Danika Naccarella’s career has been enjoying a steady upward trajectory

New multi-use trail taking shape in Hagensborg

Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) is funding a new section of trail in Hagensborg

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

B.C. residents participate in Great Shakeout earthquake drill

Worldwide event has become an annual practice set for the third Thursday every October

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

Most Read