Burns Lake councillor defends residents who ignored evacuation orders

“They are not hindering wildfire efforts”

Burns Lake councillor Charlie Rensby is defending residents south of Burns Lake who chose not to abide by evacuation orders this summer.

In a letter sent to B.C. Premier John Horgan, Rensby says locals who refuse to leave are “not hindering wildfire efforts.”

“As you are aware, we have been devastated by fires this year and they have taken their toll,” writes Rensby. “My community is going through hell right now, but we are resilient and will make it until fall.”

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, remaining in an area under an evacuation order can impede their ability to combat fires, as firefighters may be forced to stop certain suppression activity to not put people who have stayed behind in further danger.

READ MORE: Some residents south of Burns Lake refuse to evacuate

READ MORE: Residents south of Burns Lake who chose not to evacuate share their stories

Catherine Van Tine Marcinek, one of the Southside residents who chose to stay behind to protect their properties and livelihoods, says Southsiders have made a big difference combating the fires.

“Our men and our boys are fighting these fires… and doing an amazing job,” she told Lakes District News last month. “They are the ones putting out these fires.”

Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach said Rensby’s letter was not presented to council for their endorsement.

Horgan met with local leaders, First Nations chiefs and first responders at the Burns Lake Fire Camp on Aug. 31 to discuss wildfire response.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief Corrina Leween told Horgan that First Nations have “pulled through to set the systems up that were not in place by the provincial government.”

Horgan responded by saying the province needs to deploy more resources to the area and have more “people on the ground,” and that he would “do his best to make that happen.”

READ MORE: First Nations chiefs hold B.C. premier accountable in Burns Lake

Just Posted

Residents raise concern over cannabis bylaw bid

Editor’s note: this story has been revised for clarity. Burns Lake residents… Continue reading

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

Ex-Burns Lake resident wanted for murder

Police are searching for a former resident of Burns Lake who is… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Most Read