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Shuswap Indigenous band loses 85 structures to Bush Creek wildfire

Skwlax te Secwepemculecw shares numbers after ‘traumatic week’
Skwlax te Secwepemculecw communication coordinator Larry Read said Saturday (Aug. 26) the Quaaout Lodge buildings were not damaged in the Bush Creek East wildfire. (Google Earth)

Skwlax te Secwepemculecw recapped a harrowing week and shared updates on structure loss within their community.

Communication coordinator Larry Read joined the 2 p.m. Columbia Shuswap Regional District briefing Saturday, Aug. 26 reporting that a total of 85 structures have been lost due to the Bush Creek wildfire.

Read more: Skwlax chief recounts wildfire escape: ‘The fire people were not going to be denied’

Read added that another 13 are partially damaged, and 129 made it out unscathed.

The band had a meeting Wednesday where this was shared with members, and mental health support through the First Nations Health Authority was there to help homeowners cope with loss, said Read.

The plan is to rebuild, he added, but there is no timeline for when members can return to their homes.

The education department has been in contact with band members with school-aged children, confirmed Read, and he thanked both school districts 73 and 83 for their cooperation in helping with evacuated students’ plans.

Read says Quaaout Lodge is still standing and Talking Rock golf course has burned trees as damage, but the course remains intact. The band’s gravel pit and equipment also survived the fire.

“We will take the public’s offer up when we know what we need,” said Read of the outpouring of support he said the band has received.

Read more: UPDATE: Shuswap wildfire at 43,111 hectares, no significant growth


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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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