Premier visits fire evacuation centre in Midway

Premier Christy Clark paid a visit to the Rock Creek fire evacuation center in Midway on Sunday afternoon to offer support t

Premier Christy Clark in Midway Sunday meeting with evacuees and volunteers at the evacuation centre.

Premier Christy Clark paid a visit to the Rock Creek fire evacuation center in Midway on Sunday afternoon to offer support to the evacuees and volunteers. She spoke to numerous people directly affected by the fire, as well as spending time with the numerous local residents who have stepped up to help those displaced by the blaze.

During a later press conference, she outlined her government’s goals regarding fire preparedness and prevention. “We need to build up our capacity to prevent and fight these fires”, said Clark, “because the reality is that this isn’t going to be an unusual event in the future just in terms of the number of fires we have so we need to expand capacity. The forestry ministry has done an incredible job of keeping people safe and protecting homes, but we want to have fewer fires and when we have fires we really want to tackle them and get them under control as fast as possible.”

Accompanied by MLA Linda Larson and Forestry minister Steve Thompson, Clark also responded to the possibility of the fire being human-caused, specifically by a motorist that threw a burning cigarette from their vehicle. “I was told that there were witnesses and there may be a government video of somebody throwing a cigarette butt from a vehicle”, said Clark, “and if we can find evidence that a specific individual is responsible for this fire we are going to do whatever we need to and use all the tools available to ensure that people are held accountable for irresponsible behaviour. We are having discussions right now across the province regarding potential penalties for those found throwing cigarette butts out of their car. Perhaps one of the penalties available is that we take away their car, or the use of their car for a period of time, though we have not decided anything yet.”

Clark thanked the residents of the Boundary for their contribution to the relief effort. ‘The people of Midway and Rock Creek have really stepped up”, she said, “and for that we are so lucky.”

When asked about the cost of fighting the fires this season, which has already hit $2 million, the Premier noted that because the province is in good fiscal shape, with a $1billion surplus in the books, paying for the firefighting efforts this season would be manageable. “We won’t have to go into debt to pay for this”, said Clark.

The Premier also visited the town of Oliver to assess the damage caused by fires there, which was far less extensive than that precipitated by that in Rock Creek and Westbridge.

Just Posted

Heinrich hired as CAO

Heinrich has been acting in the role since March 2017.

Power out, restored in some areas

While power is now on for some of the Boundary, as many as 2,000 may still be in the dark.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Most Read