Loon Lake wildfire photo posted on Facebook by Shawn Cahill.

Loon Lake waits to go home

Loon Lake residents still wait and wonder when they can go home

While some of those directly impacted by wildfires are starting to go home, Loon Lake residents are being told they’re going to have to keep waiting.

The Elephant Hill wildfire (formerly the Ashcroft Reserve fire) is now pegged at 56,200 hectares and is considered 30 per cent contained, but on its north flank the fight is far from over.

Related: B.C. state of emergency hits two-week mark

“The north flank of the fire in the Loon Lake and Hihium Lake area was experiencing high-intensity fire behaviour and significant growth yesterday, so the crews and heavy equipment were working towards containment, but they aren’t there yet,” says fire information officer Max Birkner.

“Yesterday there was a lot of spotty precipitation through the area on that fire and today’s weather was expected to be a repeat with a bit less precipitation. The winds are expected to be southerly at 15 km/h with gusts up to 25 km/h.”

Birkner warns residents that it is still a volatile situation in the Loon Lake area and there is no current estimate on when crews can get a handle on that part of the blaze.

“If we got a massive rainstorm tomorrow maybe it would be quicker, but right now there is still significant fire behaviour in that area.”

Earlier this week the Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced a Rapid Damage Assessment Team had completed its damage assessment of properties at Loon Lake due to the Elephant Hill fire.

Related: Cache Creek residents return, crews battle Elephant Hill wildfire

Over the last few days the team has worked to inform residents on whether or not they have lost their homes.

On the Loon Lake Facebook group, residents have been sharing the news with each other and consoling one another over the loss of their homes, decades-old cabins and resorts.

Given the devastation in the region, the Loon Lake community is already vowing to work together and rebuild. A GoFundMe was created this week that has already raised more than $2,000.

Yesterday, Alan Lockmuller posted the video above. It was taken on July 14 as he evacuated the area.

“Sharie and I have been coming here for a dozen years for our vacation – even spent our honeymoon here, we were so impressed by Loon Lake and its people we bought a place last March,” wrote Lockmuller.

“We intend to retire here! We were at the lake when the evacuation order came through. Sorry for all that have lost and thankful for those that have not. Thank you to those on the ground fighting this fire…”

Evacuation orders were downgraded to an alert for the Clinton Corridor and partially for some areas of Cache Creek north, Hihium Lake, Loon Lake and the area east of Clinton.

Related: Clinton Corridor and other evacuation orders downgraded

The new alert includes all properties west of Highway 97 that were previously on an evacuation order and properties immediately bordering the east side of the highway that were previously on evacuation order.

Evac Order Rescind – Loon Lake Partial Order Rescind Jul 20-17 2100 Hrs by Carmen Weld on Scribd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Langley Lodge reports one new COVID-19 death, bringing total to 24

Death toll surpassed 22 on Wednesday, making that specific outbreak the deadliest in B.C.

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

VIDEO: Seventy-two Langley Fine Arts students record collaboration on their cellphones

Musicians performed Lake from Patrick Hawes’ work The Blue Bird Variations

VIDEO: Langley Fundamental jazz band performs for local seniors every Thursday

Music group joined by graduates looking to celebrate and spread cheer in the community

LETTER: Walnut Grove man wants gun ban clarified before taking stance

A local letter writer looked into gun ban and came away more confused by the rules

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read