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People with permits now allowed to take supplies to Southside residents

Regional district is granting permits on a case-by-case basis

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is granting permits for people to take certain supplies to Southside residents who have chosen to stay behind.

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

However, even with the permit people are not allowed to go into the Southside.

“Any Southside resident who are on the north side can get a permit from the RDBN to go across the ferry to drop food, medical supplies, but they have to drop it at the ferry landing,” explained Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief Corrina Leween, who negotiated this agreement with the RDBN this morning. “The people that are staying [on the Southside] have to drive to the ferry landing to get the supplies.”

A liaison officer will be responsible for receiving these items at the ferry landing.

Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, who was a spokesperson for the RDBN today, explained that these supplies must be items that are related to the well-being of the residents who are staying there, such as small pumps and hoses, food, water and medical supplies.

“The RDBN is providing access permits on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Chief Leween added that she’s concerned about the well-being of the Southside residents who stayed behind, but that she also understands why they’re there.

“You have to understand that it’s the livelihoods of the people that are being jeopardized; the local residents that have stayed have made some progress, but at the same time, according to the fire relief people, it’s a fire that people have never seen before - a beast is what they’re calling it.”

The Nadina Lake Fire is now estimated at 78,002 hectares while the Verdun Mountain has consumed 16,978 hectares. Fire growth is anticipated this week as well as extreme fire behaviour.

For more information on how to obtain this permit, contact the RDBN at 250-692-3195.



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