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Food disposal underway in North Shuswap

Electoral area director says locals working with BC Wildfire Service
The CSRD has placed waste bins at the Celista Fire Department, the Ross Creek Store, the Scotch Creek Market and the Squilax-Anglemont Road pullout near the mailboxes in Lee Creek. (CSRD photo)

North Shuswap residents continue the fight brought on by the Bush Creek East wildfire and its aftermath.

In a Wednesday, Aug. 30 update on efforts in communities under evacuation order, including Lee Creek, Celista and Scotch Creek, Jay Simpson, the North Shuswap’s electoral area director, shared some good news about the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) training locals so they could work together on the fire.

“Training went well – there was quite a turnout, but we haven’t had that level of response to working with BCWS that we would have expected or liked…, ” said Simpson. “It’s a good news story. There are people working on the front lines with BC Wildfire that took that training on the weekend, but I would liked to have seen more people join in with that effort.”

Regarding disposal of rotting food waste from fridges/freezers that haven’t had power since Aug. 18, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) has placed dumpsters in North Shuswap communities. Simpson said filled bins have been taken away and new ones brought in. As for disposing of the appliances themselves, the CSRD said it is working on a plan.

“There’s going to be hundreds of them, freezers and fridges, being thrown away,” said Simpson. “It’s going to be a huge issue in that respect.”

Asked about ongoing firefighting efforts, Simpson said in Lee Creek, “we’re on the western edge right now, the wind is blowing to the east and so we’re pretty good.”

“Scotch Creek, I know they’re still putting out some smokers and little things but it in general is not bad. In Celista, there’s still a lot of work going on in some of the creek ravines, Onyx Creek and that kind of thing,” said Simpson. “Locals have been working with BC Wildfire on that.”

Read more: Firefighters hold the line in Sorrento against advancing Bush Creek East blaze

Read more: Evacuation order issued for Sorrento properties, firefighters spend night battling blaze

Asked about supplies needed by locals still in the evacuation order area, Simpson replied, “I put out a call to see if anybody had any dire needs in terms of food, water, pet food and things like that, and we didn’t have much uptake so I think people are pretty well under control, in general, and kind of just sitting it out.

“Those areas that are still in the fight are working hard and have got their own support systems to take care of them because, obviously, we can’t get from Lee Creek to Celista to back them up in any way.”

Simpson praised CSRD firefighters in the North Shuswap for their ongoing work, and was thankful for support received from other parts of the region.

“It’s been awesome – the people over in Sorrento and Blind Bay have been doing everything they can to help us out,” said Simpson. “We really appreciate the efforts of all the Shuswap communities with their thoughts and prayers as well as their actions to help out.”

The above story was updated with a correction.
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