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Temporary building moratorium rescinded in the Shuswap

Regional district allows building permits after initial geotechnical assessment warns of hazards
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has lifted a temporary building permit moratorium placed on Sept. 14, 2023 in areas affected by the Bush Creek East wildfire. (CSRD image)

North Shuswap residents affected by wildfire can begin to rebuild as initial geotechnical assessment results come in.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) announced on Tuesday, Oct. 24 it is rescinding the temporary building moratorium placed on areas affected by the Bush Creek East wildfire, effective immediately.

On Sept. 14, 2023, the CSRD board unanimously agreed to issue the moratorium in response to the fire, which burned in mountains and affected slopes that drain into Shuswap and Adams lakes, “creating the potential for increased geohazard risks on alluvial fans, steep creeks and rock slopes, reads a CSRD release.

Read more: Building permits temporarily put on pause in fire-ravaged Shuswap

BGC Engineering Inc. has been working to get a better understanding of what risks are in the area, so the CSRD can inform residents and begin the process of rebuilding.

An initial report has been completed and the public can now read it on the CSRD website under the Reports section.

The CSRD is now removing the temporary building moratorium as the report serves to offer preliminary support for land use and permit decision-making information during the recovery process, reads the release. The report indicates some new hazards for landowners and the CSRD to be aware of, which may affect the building permit process and necessitate possible additional property-specific geotechnical assessment requirements.

Residents wanting to build structures on their property are advised to contact the CSRD’s building staff early in the process.

The BGC Engineering report focused on risk to private property parcels within the CSRD boundary, reads the report, and did not specifically assess infrastructure or buildings outside, including those belonging to Skwlāx te Secwepemcúlew and Adams Lake bands, provincial parks, the the Thompson Nicola Regional District. Other assets that are non-structural or of cultural value were not specifically assessed either.

Geotechnical assessments of the entire Bush Creek East wildfire area are continuing, and additional information provide by the province will be factored into the CSRD’s development decisions.

For more information, contact the building department by email at

Read more:Evacuation plans to be developed for 10 Columbia-Shuswap communities

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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