Twenty-seven structures have burnt down in the Kookipi Creek wildfire, six of which were residential homes.
In a notice sent on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6), the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) confirmed that 27 structures — six residential and 21 being recreational and maintenance buildings — were taken by the Kookipi Creek wildfire.
“I am grateful for no loss of life and the ongoing resilience of residents,” said Director Diane Johnson, the FVRD Director for Electoral Area A. “The impacts and trauma associated with the Kookipi Creek Wildfire are undeniable however, the communities we call home will support each other as we recover from the impacts of the wildfire.”
All property owners affected by the fire have been notified by the FVRD.
The FVRD — who downgraded its evacuation orders to evacuation alerts on Monday (Sept. 4) in the Nahatlatch River area and Boston Bar — are also encouraging residents to read the Re-Entry Guide before returning to their communities. The guide, according to FVRD, will help residents prepare for, and know what to expect, when travelling back.
Meanwhile, the east side of the Fraser River and the Canyon Alpine area remain on alert.
The notice also reiterates that areas within the evacuation alert “remain hazardous from poor road conditions, danger trees, post-fire hazards, and other risks.”
“The FVRD Board and I wish to express our appreciation to all Electoral Area A residents, Boston Bar and Boothroyd First Nations for their commitment to safety and patience while adhering to the Evacuation Order and Alerts”, said Jason Lum, the FVRD Chair.
“Now that Evacuation Orders have been downgraded to Alerts and residents are returning, we acknowledge you have been tested beyond comprehension. Community strength is built from a foundation of unity and the strength you all have exhibited is inspirational.”
The Kookipi Creek wildfire, which was discovered on July 8 and “exploded” on Aug. 17 by fanning winds, is now an estimated 18,045.3 hectares. It remains out of control and BC Wildfire Service said that, on Sunday (Sept. 3) crews were using a drone for aerial infrared scanning over the Canyon Complex wildfires to “identify hotspots along the fire perimeters, helping ground crews prioritize and extinguish hotspots near infrastructure, communities, properties and First Nations values.”
The Canyon Complex wildfires is made up of seven fires in the Fraser Canyon, including Kookipi Creek and Stein Mountain.
During this time, the FVRD said it will continue to support residents by answering questions and providing resource connections. The FVRD Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Information Line is also available by phone at 778-704-0400 or online at fvrd.ca/eoc.
The FVRD EOC will remain open as it continues to monitor the situation.
—with files from Lauren Collins