Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society (LLVFDS)
FIRE CHIEF: Colin SMITH
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Jeff Harrison
Vice President: Lois Harper
Secretary/Tresasurer: Sandy Eby
Director: Colin Smith
Director: Paul Battershill
Director: Pat Sawatzky
Director: Franko Borri
For the most recent updates on the Forest Fires in our area, please click here.
Return Home Plan
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.
Press Release – Aug. 11, 2017
On behalf of the loon lake volunteer fire department society, I would like to take this opportunity to comment one of the most heart-breaking experiences that has struck the community of Loon Lake.
The Loon Lake community is located east from Highway 97 along Loon Lake road, accessed off highway 97 between Cache Creek and Clinton, part of the Southern Cariboo Region of B.C. the area is home to approximately 75 fulltime residents and includes ranches, farms, a first nations recreational facility resorts and recreational properties. The population increases into the thousands as recreational users and tourists enjoy the seasonal activities of the area.
Loon Lake itself is located 20 kms east of highway 97, is approximately 15 kms in length and runs east to west. Properties on the south side of the lake are accessed by water only, while properties on the north side have vehicle access via Loon Lake road.
On Friday, July 14 the TNRD (Thompson Nicola Regional District) issued an evacuation order for all residents of Loon Lake as a result of a wildfire that had originated in the Ashcroft area.
The evacuation order affected approximately 376 addresses from the junction of Highway #97 and Loon Lake road to 3250 Loon Lake road. A distance of 32 kilometres.
The wildfire, coined the Elephant Hill fire, was given the highest fire rating by the BC Wildfire Service. In the space of 8 hours the fire travelled the entire 9 mile length of Loon Lake.
It enveloped both sides of the lake. Approximately 30 property owners were impacted, with the loss of just over 60 structures.
On the north side of the lake the wildfire was most intense at the westerly end. The fire burned north up the hillside and carried along in a direction horizontal to Loon Lake. Damage ranged from residential homes, resort cabins, recreational trailers and various types of garages and sheds. There were 15 structural losses on the Loon Lake road.
Our loon lake firehall also fell victim to the fire. Fortunately, the department’s 3 fire vehicles had been re-located to a safer location on instructions of the fire chief when the TNRD had issued the evacuation alert. However, most of the department’s equipment inventory was also lost in the fire.
Members of the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department have been present on the lake since the fire began in an effort to extinguish hundreds of spot fires which even today continue to flare up. The department is approaching 4 weeks of protecting structures still standing within our defined fire protection area.
I cannot give members of the fire department enough thank you’s for their physically and mentally exhausting work. Exceptional commitment.
The Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department has been working under contract with the BC Wildfire Service. Numerous fire departments from the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Alberta and Australia have also been present assisting our department. Overall security of our community has been monitored by the RCMP and Canadian military.
Telus and BC Hydro must also be recognized for completing their work to re-establish telephone and power. The crews worked under very trying conditions.
During this fire operation, the Loon Lake Fire Department has been supported by the society’s board of directors. Logistical and administrative support has been required to keep the firefighters fed and functioning. Thank you to all my fellow board members.
Once the evacuation order is lifted, residents and homeowners will return to a much different looking landscape. The extended evacuation from the lake has been very emotional and we sympathize how difficult this experience has been for everyone.
Loon Lake has a history of being a very tight knit community. This history will be a very important source of support as we work together to recreate new memories.
During the evacuation order people have been using social media to express their feelings. Many, many supportive and positive comments have been sent to the Loon Lake Fire Department. They have been inspirational to us and we thank you all for your support.
We have also seen fundraising projects put in place to assist with the re-building of Loon Lake. I will be personally contacting those individuals to follow-up with these fundraising initiatives.
I want to express my heartfelt condolences to every person who has experienced a loss as a result of this fire. This horrible event has affected all of us in different ways, but all of the wonderful experiences over the years will never be forgotten. Please continue to hold onto them as we move forward to support each other to re-build our community.
Jeff Harrison, President
Loon Lake Volunter F.D. Society
Effective 1545 hours on July 14 the Wildfire Management Incident Commander informed me that the evacuation alert is being raised to an evacuation ORDER for everyone in the Loon Lake community.
The TNRD are in the process of preparing the order and it will be posted shortly on their website.
Everyone is advised to leave Loon Lake IMMEDIATELY. The travel route is to Hwy 97 and then south to Cache Creek.
Those people who require assistance as an evacuee are to report to the Thompson Regional University reception centre at 900 McGill St., Kamloops.
Those individuals who do not require assistance are still asked to contact the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 to registyer themselves as having left the area.
In the words of the incident commander, “I don’t want any heroics. Tell everyone to get out right away.”
Jeff Harrison, President
THE LOON LAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS NEED TO INCREASE THE NUMBERS OF FIREFIGHTERS WE CURRENTLY HAVE.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A FIREFIGHTER PLEASE CONTACT THE FIRE CHIEF AT 250-459-0083 OR JEFF HARRISON AT 604-535-1488.
EFFECTIVE JULY 7, 2017 THE BC FOREST SERVICE HAS IMPOSED A COMPLETE CAMPFIRE BAN IN BOTH THE CARIBOO FIRE DISTRICT AND THE KAMLOOPS FIRE DISTRICT. THIS WILL IMPACT ALL RESIDENTS ON BOTH SIDES OF LOON LAKE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.