Loon Lake wildfire photo posted on Facebook by Shawn Cahill.

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

 

Loon Lake waits to go home

Loon Lake waits to go home

Just Posted

The Billy Barker Casino team went 1-1 in the last two weeks, and continue to lead the standings of the Quesnel Curling Sponsor League.(Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Sponsor League Curling: First blemish for Billy Barker

The team representing the casino and hotel is no longer undefeated but stays at the top of the table

The Cariboo Regional District has launched a broadband survey for residents, businesses and organizations. (Monica Lamb-Yorski Photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Regional District launches broadband connectivity survey

Paper copies of the survey will be available beginning Dec. 2

Forestry Ink columnist Jim Hilton. (File Photo)
FORESTRY INK: Responsible use of herbicides

Columnist Jim Hilton writes about the issue of spraying herbicides like glyphosate

This screenshot from the City of Quesnel website shows where paving took place during the 2020 season. (City of Quesnel website)
City of Quesnel completed overlay paving at five sites in 2020

The season’s work was completed within a budget of $375,000

Correlieu Secondary School students Hanna Fitchett, Justin Pugh and Jaeana Dumais (missing from photo) were recently recognized by the Quesnel and District Arts Council for their poetry submissions to the community writing contest. The students’ work was inspired by the novel Wenjack and the film The Secret Path. (Photo Submitted)
LETTER: Quesnel high school students’ poetry recognized

CSS thanks the Quesnel and District Arts Council and its community writing contest partners

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism widespread

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

NDP Leader John Horgan, left, speaks as local candidate Ravi Kahlon listens during a campaign stop at Kahlon’s home in North Delta, B.C., on April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Most Read