Wildfire Recovery Information Page
Following the Summer 2017 wildfires, the City of Williams Lake, the Cariboo Regional District, the governments of Canada and British Columbia, the Canadian Red Cross and other organizations and agencies are committed to facilitating a healthy and sustainable recovery for the people and businesses of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin region.
The City hired a Recovery Manager to lead the City’s wildfire recovery efforts through the end of June 2018. Work was undertaken to collect and coordinate information on recovery resources, supports and services; to connect businesses, not-for-profits and residents to those resources; and to help address the economic and social impacts facing the City, its businesses and residents going forward.
The City of Williams Lake’s Wildfire Recovery Plan was endorsed by Council on July 10, 2018.
Recovery information will be posted and updated on this page as it becomes available.
Williams Lake and Area Community Wildfire Protection Plan
The City of Williams Lake, in cooperation with Cariboo Regional District, Williams Lake Indian Band and Xat’sull, are in the process of having a new Community Wildfire Protection Plan created. This plan will replace the Williams Lake and Area Interface Fire Plan that was created in 2005. The Fraser Basin Council is coordinating efforts to create the new CWPP, working with local foresters Ken Day and Steve Capling.
The content of a CWPP is outlined by the BC Wildfire Service. The purpose of a CWPP is to:
Identify the wildfire risks within and surrounding a community
Describe the potential consequences if a wildfire was to impact the community
Define the threat to human life, property and critical infrastructure from wildfires in an identified area
Identify measures necessary to mitigate threats
Outline a plan of action to implement measures
The area of the CWPP on the following map extends from Soda Creek in the northwest, parallels the Fraser River south to English Road, to Knife Creek in the southeast, and to Miocene and Rose Lake in the northeast.
A kick-off meeting was held on May 29, with 35 people representing local government, First Nations, emergency services, BC Wildfire Service, forest industry, BC Timber Sales, woodlot licensees, the community forest, the provincial government and various interest groups. The plan is under development and will be finished in December 2018.
Do you have any comments on what values should be considered in the CWPP? Any areas of dense forest that you would like to see the forest fuel reduced or managed? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions.
Mental Health & Wellness
To access mental health and wellness services, and for referrals for specific needs and supports, call the following numbers. All are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- BC Crisis Line 1-888-353-2273
- 1-800 (SUICIDE) (1-800-784-2433)
- 310-6789 (310Mental Health Support)
The above phone lines are answered by trained volunteers and staff of the Interior Crisis Line Network, a member organization of the BC Crisis Line Association. These contacts provide short term emotional support to callers and match people with professional help available locally or elsewhere in the province.
Additional mental health resources also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays:
KUU-US Crisis Line – Aboriginal crisis line
Visit www.kuu-uscrisisline.ca for specific adult/elder or child/youth supports.
Kids Help Phone
Confidential support and online resources for children and teens. Professional counselling is available immediately.
Additional Recovery Resources
Community Futures - The Wildfire Recovery Support Program (WRS)
The Wildfire Recovery Support Program (WRS) hosted by Community Futures offers hands on support to businesses in the region who have been affected by the wildfires with referrals to supporting agencies and personal administrative help. It is being delivered throughout the region by three Community Futures offices: Williams Lake, Quesnel and Ashcroft. Each office will cover it’s local and regional mandated area.
See the attached Wildfire Recovery Support Program Ambassador contact list and program overview for more information, individual Ambassador email addresses and phone numbers. Or call Community Futures at 250-392-3626 in Williams Lake.
Red Cross - Community Partnerships Program
The Canadian Red Cross recognizes the importance of strengthening support structures that were in communities prior to a disaster, as well as supporting organizations that provided critical services in host communities. Across the many fire-affected areas, the recovery and rebuilding process will take years. Through the recovery process, the Community Partnerships Program (CPP) provides funding to support community driven efforts that promote individual and community recovery and resiliency. Follow THIS LINK for more information on the CPP and to apply.
Red Cross - Small Business Support
The second phase of the Canadian Red Cross Support to Small Business / Cultural Livelihood Program, funded by the Government of B.C., will provide additional financial assistance for Small Businesses and First Nations Cultural Livelihoods impacted by the British Columbia 2017 fires. This additional financial assistance is to support fixed and new expenses that are uninsured and that have occurred as a result of interrupted business operations due to the fires.
This program opens Nov. 20, 2017 and is available until April 6, 2018. Please see the side bar for program information and visit redcross.ca.
Red Cross - Individual Support
Please call 1-800-863-6582 to make an appointment for individual recovery resources and supports and see the Red Cross recovery services document on the side bar for additional programming and application deadlines.
British Columbia AgriStability Enhancement Program
The British Columbia government has made special provisions to help producers suffering income declines in 2017. This program offers extended application deadlines and dedicated personnel to assist with application processes. Call 1-877-343-2767 (toll free) or email AgriStability@gov.bc.ca. Follow this link for eligibility, forms and more program details: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/insurance-and-income-protection-programs/bc-enhanced-agristability-program.
Emergency Notification System
Did you receive timely emergency notifications during the 2017 wildfire period? If not, businesses and individuals/citizens are encouraged to register with the Emergency Notification System for the Cariboo Chilcotin region. This system notifies you to emergent, significant and time-sensitive emergency events affecting the area(s) you identify as important to you including your workplace, home and more. For more information, contact the City of Williams Lake at 250-392-2311 or visit www.williamslake.ca.
For help accessing more information or services, please call the WL Recovery Manager, Trevor Kier, at 250-398-0428 or email email@example.com.
FireSmart Programs & Preparedness Planning
FireSmart & Wildfire Prevention Programs - FireSmart is a national initiative to help property owners and communities understand the ways in which wildfire might threaten structures and property located in, and close to, forested and wildland areas, and the steps individuals and communities can take to reduce the susceptibility of buildings and property. Click here for information on Wildfire prevention programs and FireSmart. A copy of the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual is available on the Relevant Documents section below.
PreparedBC - British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. Depending on the emergency, you and your family could be on your own for several days while first responders manage the aftermath. Sounds daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Our goal is to make emergency readiness easy. PreparedBC has everything you need to start getting prepared today. Information includes identifying hazards, preparing your family, home and business and provides various disaster planning guides and resources. Go to https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc for links and plans.
- BC Wildfire Service
- FireWork, Canada's Wildfire Smoke Prediction System
- Information for Agri-Recovery
- BC Assessment - Wildfire Info for Properties that Sustained Damage
- BC Assessment - Wildfire Info Youtube Link
- BC HYDRO Billing Relief
- Canadian Red Cross BC Wildfire Recovery Page
- Canadian Red Cross BC Wildfire Support to Small Business Page
- PreparedBC: Household Preparedness Guide (PDF)