The 2017 summer BC wildfire season was unprecedented and the impacts were felt across the Province, including the Central Coast Regional District (CCRD). The CCRD has received funding support, through Emergency Management BC, for a Wildfire Recovery Manager.
The Wildfire Recovery Manager will work to capture the impacts of the wildfires and begin necessary actions of assessing resources and addressing gaps and challenges for recovery. They will be reaching out to residents, non-profits, and businesses, as well as those who derive livelihoods from the resource base and subsistence economy to determine the social and economic impacts and inform development of a Wildfire Recovery Plan.
“As a small remote community and as part of a much larger area suffering from the effects of the worst wildfire season in BC’s history, we need a better understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of the wildfires on our constituents,” said CCRD Board Chair Alison Sayers. “The aim is to identify short-term and long-term activities that will work towards helping community members, entrepreneurs, and businesses recover from impacts and to help identify the types of work that can help us along with other communities to build back stronger.”
The CCRD has retained Wildfire Recovery Manager, Jessie MacDonald, on contract until the end of March 2018, to spearhead the Region’s planning toward recovery. Jessie’s role is to pull together and lead a small team that will gather information about impacts communities in the Central Coast have weathered as a result of the 2017 wildfires.
Caitlin Thompson has been enlisted to support the wildfire recovery work and recruitment of expertise toward assessing impacts specific to Nuxalk Nation interests is underway. The hope is to achieve a cross-cultural survey and data collection approach that will serve in building a sound recovery approach that is both relevant and culturally appropriate to all the impacted sub regional communities within the regional district.
“This work has already resulted in the Red Cross coming to the Bella Coola Valley in-person to support those looking for help to access their program supports” explains CCRD Board Chair Alison Sayers.
Red Cross workers will be at the Moose Hall Jan 23-25 to meet one-on-one with individuals and households that need recovery assistance from the impacts of the 2017 BC wildfires. For any questions and to pre-register call 1-800-863-6582. Dates and times are as follows: Jan 23 – 9:30am – 3:30pm , Jan 24 – 1:30pm – 6:30pm, and Jan 25 – 9:30am – 3:30pm
Recovery information is posted on the CCRD’s website at www.ccrd-bc.ca. A current list of supports for individuals and families, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and First Nations cultural livelihoods are posted on the website and more information will be added as it becomes available.
Those needing assistance related to impacts from the wildfires can reach out to Jessie MacDonald by calling 250.267.8621 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.