Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:
Over the past few months, the City of Quesnel’s Wildfire Recovery Team has been assisting urban and rural businesses, as well as non-profits, to return back to their normal routines post-wildfires. As part of the recovery team’s efforts, several successful initiatives have taken place to date:
The recovery office opened in November in Spirit Centre, 246 St Laurent. Open mornings, Monday-Thursday, this office provides support to businesses, non-profits and individuals impacted by wildfires on a drop-in basis.
To date, the Wildfire Recovery Team has made contact with 657 businesses and non-profits in the region and have provided direct assistance as required.
In January, the Wildfire Recovery Team worked with 11 non-profits to submit project development plans and proposals to the Rural Dividend fund. These projects will help assist with strategic planning and building organizational strength and resilience over the coming years.
The Wildfire Recovery Team also knows how to have fun! On February 3 and 4, the “Great Ball of Fire” Snow-Pitch Tournament included five local and one out-of-town team who braved the cold to play a fun day of slow pitch in the snow. This fun event may grow and develop into something that attracts people to Quesnel and the surrounding area to enjoy all the great activities and venues we have to offer during the winter months.
In partnership with the Quesnel Chamber of Commerce, the Wildfire Recovery Team arranged for Dale Wheeldon, President of the BC Economic Development Association to present the “10 Steps to Evacuate Your Business” to the business community on February 11.
The team arranged for Fire Protection Officer, Steve Richburg and the City of Quesnel Fire Inspector/Safely Officer/Deputy Fire Chief Ron Richert to give a presentation on February 11 about the shared responsibility of preparing for the threat of wildfire; from home owners, to industry and government, everyone has responsibility to lessen the effects of wildfire. To learn more visit: firesmartcanada.ca.
On March 8, Dr. Paul Hessburg was in Quesnel for an afternoon landscape level planning session in conjunction with an evening public presentation called, The Era of Megafires, hosted by the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition. The purpose of these two presentations was to provide effective educational and planning tools for citizens and organizations who are working tirelessly to improve the wildfire situation. The Wildfire Recovery Team assisted with promoting these events which saw over 100 people in attendance.
In partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia, recovery team members are planning a two-day forest sector think tank session. At this event, we will explore the challenges confronting our forest sector and the opportunities available to this community to conduct both research and commercial pilots that will allow Quesnel industry partners to expedite the transformation of Quesnel’s manufacturing sector to match the changes occurring on the forest land base.
The Wildfire Recovery Team’s mandate is to develop a recovery plan and begin early implementation steps. Although originally scheduled to have the recovery plan completed by the end of March 2018, due to the continued need in the region, the North Cariboo sub-regional recovery efforts will continue until June 2018. Through continued funding from Emergency Management BC the recovery team will continue to collect impact assessment information that will inform the wildfire recovery plan. The Wildfire Recovery Plan will include recommendations and action items to promote economic, social, environmental recovery in the North Cariboo.
For more information about recovery in the North Cariboo, please contact Erin Robinson, Recovery Manager at 250-255-6002.