In anticipation of the TNRD lifting the evacuation order we have created a handout that will be given to returning property owners at the community hall when the order is lifted.
Click here to read, download and/or print it ahead of time.
The situation remains stable and improving at the lake. Wildfire Service and TNRD are conducting a number of necessary steps to ensure public safety prior to re-entry. This includes the 911 communications system installation and an assessment of continued fire risk.
We will post the LLVFD return to home plan in the next 24-48 hours so that people have an opportunity to read it prior to re-entry.
We do not know when the decision will be made regarding the evacuation order but feel that things are moving in the right direction with the TNRD and Wildfire Service properly performing their responsibilities in relation to public safety.
It rained a fair bit at the lake last night which was very welcome. More rain is forecast. Spot fires have been reduced as a result of the rain although we remain patrolling including night patrols last night.
We are feeling quite a bit better about things today.
The winds have been higher but they are from the south at present. Visibility has improved as a result.
TNRD will be installing the 911 fire paging system starting tomorrow, we think this will take a few days to complete.
It does feel like things are improving as long as the weather holds.
Wildfire Protection, LLVFD, Vancouver FD, Pender Island FD, Chilliwack FD, Fort St John FD, Saanich FD, Delta FD and Abbotsford FD are all on scene and patrolling today.
Visibility is again extremely poor and breathing is difficult as a result.
Grass fires have been a problem at the ranch at the east end of the lake for some weeks now, several were extinguished last night and this morning.
The canyon is being soaked again today as it remains quite hot.
We are expecting increasing winds later today.
We have been advised by Kamloops Communications that Kenwood Corporation will be donating our 18 portable radios due to the catastrophic loss of the Fire Hall and equipment. We are using the portables on a continuous basis. This is a huge gesture by Kenwood and we will be thanking both them and Kamloops Communications in an appropriate manner when we are able to.
The winds have increased resulting in an active wildfire in the canyon, it has crossed the road and we have 6 fire trucks there, helicopter aerial support is attending now so we feel it can be extinguished. The rest of the lake appears okay at present.
We spoke to the LLVFD members who attended White Moose 2 days ago, they discovered the fire and extinguished it before major structural damage. They indicate there is about 10 sq ft of the deck damaged and some siding/insulation damaged. It has been properly secured; the owners were personally notified by the firefighters who attended that night by telephone.
We are actively patrolling due to wind and will do a longer update tomorrow. Everything else is fine aside from the canyon.
LLVFD, Cherry Creek FD, Burnaby FD, Armstrong FD, Coombs FD, Ferndale FD, BC Wildfire, BC Fire Commissioners Office and Alberta Wildfire are all on scene dealing with hotspots and structure protection.
The controlled burns at the lake are nearing successful completion with a day or two of mop up left.
Visibility at the lake is very poor making driving difficult, even at slow speeds.
TNRD were assisted by LLVFD today with the examination of safe/unsafe building locations.
The cattle at the east end of the lake were transported out to a safer area near Kamloops today.
BC Wildfire staff have mentioned that when people return to the lake it is a good idea to travel in slowly the first time with somebody else in the vehicle and talk over the things that you are seeing and feeling. This sounds like good advice for when we all do return although we still feel that it will be a week or two.
Structure protection, hotspot elimination and controlled burning continued today as the winds remained calm despite a forecast that they would increase substantially from the West or South. The controlled burning should be completed in the next few days and has been successful in clearing ground fuel.
Residents who return in the next week or two need to be aware that the back country is completely closed to all vehicles, off road or otherwise. Conservation Officers have been in the area in large numbers and will enforce the prohibition. Please check the BC Wildfire Service website for specifics of the prohibition. Aside from the prohibition, the bush is going to be dangerous from burnt danger trees for quite some time.
Smoke remains very dense in the area of the lake.
We are actively developing the return to home plan and have been liaising with TNRD on the plan although we think it will be 1-2 weeks before the area is safe. The decision to rescind the evacuation order is made by the TNRD in consultation with Wildfire Service professionals whose entire focus is public safety. The wildfire is still very active on some of its flanks.
There will be a number of announcements in the next 1-2 weeks regarding the re-entry plan. This will include a copy of the plan as well as reference material and offers from several retailers with a connection to Loon Lake who want to help.
Jeff Harrison, President
Firefighters from Abbotsford, LLVFD, Coombs, Burnaby, Alberta Wildfire and BC Wildfire remain on scene dealing with hotspots that are still occurring.
The controlled burns at the east end of the lake continue by BC Wildfire and Alberta Wildfire personnel. They are using FireSmart methods where trees are trimmed and the ground cover burnt. This removes fuel but preserves the appearance of the hillside. Bubble zones are established around structures using sprinklers and fire breaks and there has been no structural damage to date.
Air quality is still extremely poor at the lake and masks are being used as needed. The visibility is such that aerial support is limited.
Winds have remained fairly calm so far today.
TELUS has completed their work in the past few days and service is restored. A cell and wifi hub are operational at the Community Hall now.
The Elephant Hill Wildfire started a month ago today. It is sad that we cannot all be enjoying the long weekend with our families but let’s hope that within a few weeks we are all rebuilding together our wonderful community.
First of all a huge thank you to Cari Lee Stevenson who dropped off a terrific supply of food for our firefighters including fresh corn, blueberries, baking, entrees and fantastic other goodies. We don’t post pictures due to time constraints but will make an exception at the end of this post. THANK YOU SO MUCH CARI. It has been taken up the hill right away and is safely in coolers at the Hall.
It is extremely smoky at the lake today. LLVFD is on scene along with Abbotsford FD, Vancouver FD, Coombs FD, Alberta Wildfire and Burnaby FD (night coverage). We have fought three intense spot fires the past 24 hours on the hillside without structure loss.
BC Wildfire Protection are conducting extensive sprinkler protection with thousands of feet of hose/sprinklers and scores of wildfire fighters as well as aerial support although it is hampered by intense smoke. They are having a lot of success with fire breaks and controlled burns from Marigold to the end of the lake and seem to be about 1/3 of the way toward the end of the lake.
The valley has not had significant structure loss at the farms but most of the north side of Loon Lake Road has burned in the valley.
The air quality is a serious issue today with masks necessary all of the time.
The winds are from the north but are light so far.
Everything has remained stable at the lake today and winds have been okay.
There is some wildfire activity fairly close to the northeast corner of the lake but the fire breaks are working.
The valley area is settling down it appears and grass fires are diminishing.