Loon Lake wildfire photo posted on Facebook by Shawn Cahill.

Loon Lake waits to go home

Loon Lake residents still wait and wonder when they can go home

While some of those directly impacted by wildfires are starting to go home, Loon Lake residents are being told they’re going to have to keep waiting.

The Elephant Hill wildfire (formerly the Ashcroft Reserve fire) is now pegged at 56,200 hectares and is considered 30 per cent contained, but on its north flank the fight is far from over.

Related: B.C. state of emergency hits two-week mark

“The north flank of the fire in the Loon Lake and Hihium Lake area was experiencing high-intensity fire behaviour and significant growth yesterday, so the crews and heavy equipment were working towards containment, but they aren’t there yet,” says fire information officer Max Birkner.

“Yesterday there was a lot of spotty precipitation through the area on that fire and today’s weather was expected to be a repeat with a bit less precipitation. The winds are expected to be southerly at 15 km/h with gusts up to 25 km/h.”

Birkner warns residents that it is still a volatile situation in the Loon Lake area and there is no current estimate on when crews can get a handle on that part of the blaze.

“If we got a massive rainstorm tomorrow maybe it would be quicker, but right now there is still significant fire behaviour in that area.”

Earlier this week the Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced a Rapid Damage Assessment Team had completed its damage assessment of properties at Loon Lake due to the Elephant Hill fire.

Related: Cache Creek residents return, crews battle Elephant Hill wildfire

Over the last few days the team has worked to inform residents on whether or not they have lost their homes.

On the Loon Lake Facebook group, residents have been sharing the news with each other and consoling one another over the loss of their homes, decades-old cabins and resorts.

Given the devastation in the region, the Loon Lake community is already vowing to work together and rebuild. A GoFundMe was created this week that has already raised more than $2,000.

Yesterday, Alan Lockmuller posted the video above. It was taken on July 14 as he evacuated the area.

“Sharie and I have been coming here for a dozen years for our vacation – even spent our honeymoon here, we were so impressed by Loon Lake and its people we bought a place last March,” wrote Lockmuller.

“We intend to retire here! We were at the lake when the evacuation order came through. Sorry for all that have lost and thankful for those that have not. Thank you to those on the ground fighting this fire…”

Evacuation orders were downgraded to an alert for the Clinton Corridor and partially for some areas of Cache Creek north, Hihium Lake, Loon Lake and the area east of Clinton.

Related: Clinton Corridor and other evacuation orders downgraded

The new alert includes all properties west of Highway 97 that were previously on an evacuation order and properties immediately bordering the east side of the highway that were previously on evacuation order.

Evac Order Rescind – Loon Lake Partial Order Rescind Jul 20-17 2100 Hrs by Carmen Weld on Scribd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

RDN says water in French Creek still potable despite levels of iron, manganese

Strategy to improve water quality being established

COVID-19: City of Parksville to open offices on June 1

Health and safety restrictions will be in place

Program at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre offers chance to connect art, environmentalism

MAC program works to create community arts installation in city

Questions remain as summer tourism approaches in Parksville Qualicum Beach

COVID-19: Association hopes residents continue to support local businesses

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Most Read