The Shuswap Emergency Program is preparing for the chance evacuation alerts for several North Shuswap communities will be upgraded to evacuation orders due to heavy winds.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) said windy conditions are not favourable this afternoon, and now is the time to prepare for an evacuation.
The CSRD advised those under an evacuation alert in Lee Creek, Scotch Creek and part of Celista to prepare a grab-and-go bag with important personal items, and to make sure residents have their Alertable app settings set to ‘Columbia Shuswap Electoral Area F.’
The BC Wildfire Service shared similar messaging Thursday morning, saying the next 48 hours will be challenging in the Shuswap and across the province.
“The cold front may arrive later into the evening based on its observed path from northern B.C.,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “As it gets closer to the wildfire, fire activity will increase.”
The CSRD said accommodation is non-existent in the Shuswap, and efforts should be made to make arrangements to stay with family or friends.
“If this is not an option, your accommodation needs and possible solutions will be discussed when you check in at an Emergency Reception Centre,” said the CSRD.
If an evacuation order comes through, those who have left the alert area won’t be able to return, even to pick up family members or pets, the CSRD advises.
“If you plan to be away from home, make sure you have arrangements in place for those that will be staying behind.”
Residents can pre-register for Emergency Support Services by visiting the Scotch Creek Lee Creek Fire Hall. They will be open from 9 to 4 p.m. as long as the alert status is on. It will be closed if the area moves to order. This is an active fire hall and there may be emergency vehicles moving in and out.
Access on the Squilax-Anglemont Road is limited and should an Evacuation Order happen, that road may be converted to one-way access out of the area except for emergency vehicles, the CSRD said.
Those in the areas of St. Ives, Seymour Arm and Anglemont, are advised to prepare now to have enough resources on hand to shelter in place for 72 hours in case of limited road access.
BC Wildfire and the Shuswap Emergency Program are planning and staging structure protection sprinklers in the area. The wooden bridge at Squilax-Anglemont Road is being watered to help protect the it from fire.