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Changes to emergency protocols around Lake Koocanusa

Evacuation order downgraded to alert on the west side of Lake Koocanusa in the Newgate area.
BC Wildfire Service photo

BC Wildfire Service continues to make progress on the Linklater fire, the RDEK has rescinded the evacuation order for the west side of Lake Koocanusa in the Newgate area and downgraded it to an evacuation alert.

The evacuation order was issued on September 2nd for a number of properties in the Newgate area from Gold Bay south to the US border including Sunshine Houseboats, Sandy Shores and Madera Ranch Campgrounds.

“The area remains under an evacuation alert and people should be ready to leave again at a moment’s notice should conditions worsen,” says RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek. “This is the time for people to gather and remove valued items that they did not have the opportunity to remove when the evacuation order was issued,” stresses Duczek. “This includes boats, recreational vehicles and pets.”

Both Sandy Shores and Madera Ranch RV Resort will remain closed to the public until Friday, September 15th and can be contacted directly for details.

The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) is available to assist with both temporarily housing larger animals and reuniting owners with pets that may have been left in a residence during the evacuation.

“We have left a number of Red Cross clean up kits along with some information about returning to your home after a wildfire for anyone in the evacuation order that may need additional resources,” adds Duczek. Kits and info packages can be picked up at the Sunshine Houseboat, Madera Ranch and Sandy Shores offices.

Residents are reminded that it is still an active fire area, so BC Wildfire Service personnel will continue to be in the area and areas may be marked off or blocked off.

In addition, the RDEK and Tobacco Plains Indian Band have lifted the evacuation ALERT for the east side of Lake Koocanusa in the Grasmere area.

The fire, which was sparked by lightning, is burning largely on the US side of the border in an area southwest of Newgate. The fire is estimated at 927 hectares in size on the Canadian side of the border and continues to be actively actioned by the BC Wildfire Service and its US counterparts.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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