Fire aftermath at Skatchola site

This photo, taken on July 2 shows the old Skatchola Village site (old Cheslatta Indian Reserve #7), the former home of Chief Louie and his family. The Cheslatta Carrier Nation now owns the property in fee simple title. This is the site of the annual Cheslatta campout. The foreground area has been completely inundated several times from heavy releases from the Spillway. A cemetery above the hill from the campground was burned. The background area is the Cheslatta Community Forest which is 40,000 hectares in size. An estimated three quarters of that forest was burned in the wildfires last summer. “We are currently salvaging fire damaged wood on the southside of Cheslatta Lake,” said Mike Robertson, Senior Policy Advisor with Cheslatta. “While the fire damage is basically a natural phenomenon and the land will eventually heal, the hundreds of kilometers of fireguards are a permanent, ugly scar on the landscape. No Southsider or private land owner has escaped the trauma of the fireguards and we are collectively frustrated over the lack of motivation or commitment of the government to work with us to fix the damage that they inflicted on our landscape. To us, the disaster did not end with the lifting of the evacuation order, rather the disaster is still ongoing and is not being addressed in an efficient and effective way. We feel the government has once again abandoned the Southside at a time when we need them the most. You’ll be hearing a very loud and angry collective voice very soon. The seething and anger is going to be hotter than the fire itself.” (Submitted photo)

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