Category Archives: Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador | Govt reaches tentative funding agreement with Community Ambulance Operators Association

The Provincial Government has reached a tentative funding agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Ambulance Operators Association which represents community-based non-profit ambulance operators across the province.

It includes a total increase in funding of $1.6 million over the term of the agreement and base wage increases for ambulance attendants.

“These operators work in rural parts of our province to help meet the health care needs of our citizens. Our government has demonstrated its commitment to fair negotiations and I am pleased all parties have worked together to reach this tentative funding agreement.”
- The Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

The agreement is valid until April 2017 and includes funding for a $1 per hour base wage increase in each of 2014, 2015, and 2016.

“We are pleased that a tentative agreement has been reached with the association representing community-based operators who play an essential role in the delivery of health care services for the people of our province. This agreement will strengthen road ambulance services in rural parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, provide wage increases to rural paramedics and support operational improvements.”
- The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Health and Community Services

The tentative agreement outlines funding amounts of approximately $5.4 million in 2014-15, $5.6 million in 2015-16, and $5.8 million in 2016-17, and will be finalized in the coming weeks. The Newfoundland and Labrador Community Ambulance Operators Association represents 22 ambulance operators across the province.

VITAL SIGNS

  • The Provincial Government has reached a tentative funding agreement with the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Ambulance Operators Association.
  • It includes funding for a $1 per hour base wage increase in each of 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  • This tentative agreement will strengthen road ambulance services in rural parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, provide wage increases to rural paramedics and support operational improvements.
  • The agreement is valid until April 2017 and will be finalized in the coming weeks.

BC | Evacuation Order & Alert: Smith Creek Fire (Central Okanagan Regional District); Updated July 21 at 12PM

The Central Okanagan Regional District has lifted the Evacuation Order for for additional streets in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood. The Evacuation Order remains in effect for eight large, rural, private properties in the interface areas immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods, including all properties accessed off Dixie Road. The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, remains closed to the public, including Wildhorse Park and Tallus Park.

The Smith Creek Fire remains active and residents returning to their homes will remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice. The public must stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety and obey all warning and hazards signs.

Residents are asked if they see any fire activity related to the Smith Creek fire, not to call 9-1-1 as crews will still be actively working in the area and monitoring the situation.

An Evacuation Alert remains in effect for the following areas:

The following roads in the Smith Creek Neighbourhood:

  • Asquith Road
  • Bridal Hill Court
  • Bridal Hill Drive
  • Copper Ridge Drive
  • Copper Ridge Court
  • Copper Ridge Place
  • Copper Ridge Way
  • Doucette Drive
  • Harold Road
  • Ironridge Place
  • Ironridge Road
  • Rhinestone Road
  • Shetler Drive
  • Sandberg Road
  • Sageview Road
  • Saddleridge Drive
  • Sugosa Place
  • Salish Road
  • Smith Creek Road
  • Stone Ridge Drive
  • Summerview Place
  • Summerview Court
  • Telcor Place
  • Twin Place
  • Whispering Hills Drive
  • Wild Horse Drive

The following roads in the Alexandria Neighbourhood:

  • Alexandria Way
  • Shannon Lake Road

The following roads/properties in the Tallus Ridge Neighbourhood:

  • Boulder Lake Boulevard
  • Cobblestone Road
  • Pebble Place
  • Stone Grove Crescent
  • Tuscany Drive
  • Tallus Ridge Drive including 2390 Tallus Ridge Drive

The following roads in the Shannon Woods Neighbourhood:

  • Shannon Woods Drive
  • Shannon Woods Place
  • Shannon Woods Way
  • Shannon Woods Cres
  • Shannon Hills Drive
  • Shannon Hills Place
  • Shannon Heights Court
  • Shannon Heights Place
  • Big Sky Drive
  • Mountains Hollow Lane
  • Paramount Drive
  • Ryser Place
  • Tallus Heights Drive
  • Tallus Green Crescent
  • Tallus Green Place

The Evacuation Order is still in effect for:

  • 2850 Dixie Road
  • Remainder Part West ½ DL3478,
  • Remainder Part East ½ DL3478 & DL3478
  • Remainder Part North ½ of W ½ DL3485
  • Lot 27 DL 3485 Plan KAP58401
  • Lot 1 DL2600 & 3793 Plan KAP84074
  • Remainder DL2600 Plan KAP44535
  • Remainder DL3793 Plan KAP44535

The Evacuation Alert has been lifted for:

  • Bartley Road
  • Lenz Road

For the latest information and updated maps of the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert visit www.cordemergency.ca.

When returning home, be cautious in your neighborhood and watch out for:

  • Charred power poles and trees that may be unstable and fall.
  • Live power lines lying on the ground.
  • Small fires that may flare up without warning.
  • Ash pits, which are holes filled with hot ash created by burned trees.

Interior Health provides useful information for residents returning to their homes. It deals with exposure to smoke from forest fires, food safety, water quality and septic tanks and disposal fields.

The public is requested to stay out of fire-affected areas for their own safety.

For those who remain on evacuation orders, the Emergency Support Services reception centre at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School will continue to operate. Residents remaining on Evacuation Order will need to return to the reception center to receive additional food and accommodation vouchers. Volunteers will do their best to process evacuees as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Updates are also available on the CORD Facebook page and Twitter feed @CO_Emerg.

The public information line is 250 469-8490.

NOTE:

An Area Restriction Order is in effect immediately for areas surrounding the Smith Creek wildfire.

BC | Evacuation essentials for pet owners

During an emergency, British Columbians are responsible for more than just their own personal safety.

They need to consider how they will keep their pets, animals and other furry friends safe as well. It’s important to know how to prepare for an emergency and where you can get help with your animals during an evacuation.

In addition to having a 72-hour emergency kit for your family, you must also prepare one for your pet. Preparing in advance will increase the likelihood that your animals remain safe and healthy during an emergency.

Your pet survival kit should include:

  • 72-hour food supply including bowls and a can opener if required
  • 72-hour supply of water for your pet
  • Leash, harness, muzzle
  • Pet carrier
  • Medical and vaccination records, medication and veterinarian contact information
  • ID tags and microchip number
  • Blankets and toys

Before an evacuation, find out what resources are available in your community for pets and animals during an emergency. It may be possible to preregister with the local emergency animal rescue group in your area so members can assist you in preparing for your animals during an emergency.

If emergency officials order your community to evacuate to a safer location, it’s important to remember that if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for pets to remain there either. Make the evacuation reception centre your first point of contact and ask them to put you in touch with any local animal assistance organization. Experienced volunteers at Emergency Social Services reception centres will receive pets at reception centres and move them to a safe place where they will be cared for until you’re able to care for them.

The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART) is on hand at the reception centre in the District of West Kelowna to support more than 2,500 residents affected by the Smith Creek wildfire. CDART assisted with more than 250 animals including dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, pigeons, horses, fish and pet birds by finding foster care for animals brought to reception centres.

Learn more:

For up-to-date information on evacuation orders and public safety notices, visit your local authority information sources and: www.EmergencyInfoBC.gov.bc.ca

For more details about CDART supports and activities, visit: http://www.cdart.org/index.htm

For individuals concerned about livestock during an evacuation, visit: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/emergency/Evacuation/Evacuation.htm

For more information about animal care, visit: http://bit.ly/UkyM8C

Newfoundland and Labrador | $90K contract awarded to support Hurricane Flood Alert program

As part of Budget 2014: Shared Prosperity, Fair Society, Balanced Outlook, a contract has been awarded to AMEC as part of a $90,000 investment for the continuation of a three-year Hurricane Flood Alert program in 45 communities throughout the province.

“As climate change continues to affect our province, more communities are experiencing flooding and need flood risk warning systems to allow them to prepare and react quickly. By investing in monitoring and research, our government has taken action to provide those living in areas more prone to flooding the tools they need to respond to adverse precipitation events.”
- The Honourable Vaughn Granter, Minister of Environment and Conservation and Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

The Hurricane Flood Alert Service examines several weather and research forecast models daily to generate precipitation forecasts based on a set of site specific triggers. Alert information is provided to Fire and Emergency Services – Newfoundland and Labrador, which connects with identified communities to relay information and encourage monitoring and preparedness related to elevated water levels and possible flooding. This investment delivers on a commitment in Charting Our Course: Climate Change Action Plan 2011 in which government committed to enhance the province’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

“Emergency planning and preparedness is a key component of public safety. Through the support of Fire and Emergency Services-NL, the Provincial Government has put significant resources in place to support municipalities in developing and exercising emergency management plans. With the increasing risks associated with extreme weather and climate change, the Hurricane Flood Alert Service will enhance public safety for communities and residents of Newfoundland and Labrador living in flood prone areas.”
- The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for Fire and Emergency Services-NL

AMEC will deliver the Hurricane Flood Alert program to 45 communities in partnership with the Department of Environment and Conservation.

The Hurricane Flood Relief Alert program will be made available to the following communities.

# Area/Community
1 Appleton/Glenwood
2 Battle Harbour
3 Bay Roberts (Shearstown)
4 Bishops Falls
5 Black Duck Siding
6 Burgeo
7 Carbonear
8 Channel-Port aux Basques
9 Churchill Falls
10 Clarenville (Shoal Harbour)
11 Cold Brook
12 Comfort Cove
13 Corner Brook
14 Daniel’s Harbour
15 Deer Lake
16 Gander
17 Glovertown
18 Great Codroy (Codroy Valley)
19 Hant’s Harbour
20 Happy Valley-Goose Bay
21 Heart’s Delight-Islington (Heart’s Delight)
22 Hickman’s Harbour-Robinson Bight (Hickman’s Harbour)
23 Hodges Cove
24 Kippens (Gaudon’s Brook)
25 La Scie
26 Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove
27 Mary’s Harbour
28 Mount Pearl (Waterford River)
29 Nain
30 Petty Harbour
31 Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s
32 Salmon Cove
33 St. Alban’s
34 St. Anthony
35 St. John’s (Goulds and Waterford River)
36 St. Lawrence
37 Steady Brook
38 Stephenville
39 Stephenville Crossing
40 Trout River
41 Victoria
42 Wabush
43 Whitbourne
44 Winterton

Newfoundland and Labrador | Open fire ban with extreme fire risk

The Department of Natural Resources is implementing an outdoor fire ban for forest land in all regions on the Island of Newfoundland effective immediately.

Recent dry weather and hot temperatures experienced throughout the island have heightened the forest fire threat throughout all areas. The forest fire index is currently at extreme levels in many regions of the province. Under such conditions, the department is taking appropriate measures to prevent forest fires.

Outdoor fires are not permitted. Unauthorized burning, including campfires and brush burning, cannot take place in and around forested areas. Gas barbeques and CSA approved patio wood burning devices are excluded, except in municipalities that have issued a ban. All fireworks are included in the ban, except for sanctioned firework displays conducted by town and local communities with appropriate fire suppression resources on hand.

The outdoor fire ban will be lifted when weather and forest conditions warrant.

BC | July 20 – Wildfire updates

22km Tenakihi (G60195)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Location: Approximately 50 kilometres west of Williston Lake, between the Mesilinka River and Tenakihi Creek
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Size: 41,000.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active

Interface: This is not an interface fire.

No further details available at this time.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 0 firefighters
• 0 helicopters
This fire is currently a modified response fire and it is being actively monitored.

Euchiniko Lakes (G40198)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Location: Euchiniko Lakes, 120km west of Quesnel
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Size: 10,500.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 5% contained
The Euchiniko Lake wildfire has now moved into the western boundary of the Kluskoil Lake Provincial Park. Crews have made good progress tight lining the western flanks of this fire. Cool temperatures and higher relative humidity have helped with suppression efforts. The fire is continuing to move in a west to east direction through mature jack, lodgepole pine, and mixed boreal.

This fire has crossed the 4000 road. Firefighters and heavy equipment are continuing to establish contingency lines and primary guard, burn off fuel were conditions are conducive, commence with mop-up, and conduct danger tree assessment. Helicopters are continuing to bucket the fire to support ground crews.

Interface: This is not an interface fire.

More information
The fire is currently on the border between the Prince George Fire Centre and the Cariboo Fire Centre. All resources are being coordinated through the Prince George Fire Centre.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 120 firefighters
• 6 helicopters
• 30 heavy equipment
Additional Incident Management Team personnel have been brought in to assist with planning and operations.

Forres Mountain Fire (G60096)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Location: 50km Northwest of Williston Lake
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Monday, June 02, 2014

Size: 20,000.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 0% contained

Interface: Interface Interface Fire
There are cabins in the near of the fire.

Evacuation Alert is in effect.

Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Peace River Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for rural residents in the area west of Williston Lake and west of Finlay River, to Ingenika Arm, west following Ingenika River, north to Tucha Lake and northeast to where Akie River meets the Finlay River. Visit www.prrd.bc.ca for more information.

More information
Current weather conditions have decreased fire activity at this time.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 10 firefighters
• 5 helicopters
Crews are working on the northeast corner of the fire.

Mount McAllister Fire (G70221)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Location: 56Km West of Chetwynd
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Sunday, July 13, 2014

Size: 16,000.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 0% contained

Interface: Interface Interface Fire
Fire crews are focusing on these priorities and tactics:
-Protecting life and property;
-direct attack in areas safe to do so;
-protecting structures,including bridges, that impact fire access and egress;
-integrating organization of operations with industry, utility companies and local fire departments.
-continue to build dozer guard, contingency lines,and tightline guard where possible.

Evacuation Alert is in effect.

RESCINDED – The District of Hudson’s Hope has rescinded their evacuation order. AN ALERT REMAINS IN PLACE. Info: http://hudsonshope.ca/

The Peace River Regional District has ordered an Evacuation Alert for residents in the community of Moberly Lake and surrounding area extending to the northernmost point of Boucher Lake Road, directly west to the Klin-Se-Za protected area, north along Carbon Creek to the southern edge of Williston Lake directly east to the boundary of Hudson’s Hope. Info: www.prrd.bc.ca

More information
The weather is cooperating, allowing crews to line-locate and begin dozer guard construction. Crews will be working swing shifts to maximize production during this opportunity.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 42 firefighters
• 7 helicopters
• 30 heavy equipment
A Type 1 Incident Management Team is working on this fire. The Incident Command Post is located at the fire camp located at the end of 50th street. There will be 80 additional firefighters arriving today.

Mugaha Fire (G60218)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Location: 8Km up Mugaha Creek
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Saturday, July 12, 2014

Size: 185.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 80% contained

Interface: This is not an interface fire.

More information
Rain in the area has brought the entire fire down to rank 1 behaviour.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 50 firefighters
• 3 helicopters
Heavy equipment have completed their objectives and crews are now working on steeper slopes to complete building hand guard.

Red Deer Creek Fire (G70182)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Location: 61km Southeast of Tumbler Ridge
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Sunday, July 06, 2014

Size: 34,827.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 0% contained
This fire is located within British Columbia and Alberta. The cooler temperatures and high relative humidity are providing safer conditions for fire fighters to work. The crews continue to construct guard, hose lay and wet line. They are working on moping up the fire perimeter to 50 feet of containment lines. Danger tree assessments are occurring for guards and access roadss. Hazardous trees will be felled.

Interface: Interface Interface Fire
There are oil and gas values in the vicinity of this fire. Currently structural protection units have been set up on three oil and gas camps and four bridges.

Evacuation Order is in effect, affecting 200 people.

Three oil and gas work camps have been evacuated.
More information on this evacuation order, please visit: www.prrd.bc.ca
(note: the updated number of three camps evacuated is a correction to the previously noted two camps. All three camps were evacuation at the same time)

More information
The Alberta Incident Management Team has taken over this fire.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 81 firefighters
• 21 helicopters
• 59 heavy equipment
• 0 airtankers
The resources listed above are for the fire as a whole, both the BC and Alberta sides.

Salmon Lake Fire (G50226)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Location: 37km northeast of Tezzeron Lake
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Monday, July 14, 2014

Size: 1,440.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 60% contained

Interface: Interface Interface Fire
There are cabins in the near of this fire. There are no residents within the cabins. Crews and aircraft are working to protect the values.
All cabins and structures are still intact.

 

 

More information
The crews have been making good progress with burnoff procedures on the northeast side and south side.
The fire has received rain in the past 24 hours which has allowed for minimal fire activity and allowed crews to continue to make good progress.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 20 firefighters
• 1 helicopters
A type 2 inicident management team is in place for this fire.

Valley south of Morfee Lake (G60215)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Location: 6 kilometres east of Mackenzie
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Saturday, July 12, 2014

Size: 180.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 80% contained

Interface: This is not an interface fire.

More information
Rain in the area has brought the fire down to rank 1 behaviour.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 20 firefighters
• 2 helicopters
Heavy equipment have completed their objectives and crews are working to build hand guard on the steeper slopes.

Chelaslie River (R10070)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Location: Approximately 7km south of the Chelaslie River
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Size: 50,000.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
This fire is classified as “modified response”.

Interface: Interface Interface Fire
A structural protection unit has been assigned to the fire.

Evacuation Order is in effect.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has issued an Evacuation Order for the north east half of Tetachuck Lake, through Uchu Reach to Intata Reach on Natalkuz Lake to the south side of Chelaslie River.
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has issued an Evacuation Alert for Intata Reach at the confluence of Uchu Reach at the eastern border of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Area ‘E’, to Natalkuz-500 Road in the north, to Kluskus Forest Service Road in the east to the boundary of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Area ‘E’ and Electoral Area ‘D’ in the south.
For more information, please visit http://www.rdbn.bc.ca/

BC Parks has issued an evacuation order for all cabin owners in Entiako Provincial Park, any users within the park, and any persons found at a facility threatened by wildfire.
BC Parks has issued the closure of Entiako Provincial Park to all recreational users.
For more information, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/entiako/

No further details available at this time.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 41 firefighters
• 5 helicopters
• 11 heavy equipment
No further details available at this time regarding resources.

3 km Botanie Rd (K70270)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Location: North of Lytton
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Size: 1,500.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 0% contained
There is a lot of smoke in the area, however the last estimated size was 1500 hectares. There was aggressive fire activity yesterday afternoon due to steep terrain and high winds.

Structure protection remains a top priority and sprinkler protection units are being utilized.

Interface: Interface Interface Fire

Evacuation Order is in effect.

Evacuation Alerts and Orders are in effect. Check TNRD.ca for details.

More information
There will be another public meeting today at the Parish Hall in Lytton. The meeting starts at 2 PM. For more information about future meetings or evacuations visit TNRD.ca.

Cause: Under Investigation

Resources
• 121 firefighters
• 6 helicopters
• 11 heavy equipment
There are helicopters, fire fighters and heavy equipment working hard on this fire today. Airtankers will be utilized if they meet are required.

Crews continue to monitor the fire overnight.

Apex Mountain (K50272)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Location: Apex Mountain
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Size: 344.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 60% contained
The Apex fire is estimated at 344 hectares in size – the increase in size is due to more accurate mapping.

Interface: Interface Interface Fire

Evacuation Alert is in effect.

There remains an Evacuation Alert in place for the lower portions of Green Mountain and Apex Mountain Roads. This affects approximately 9 properties. The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen and the RCMP are coordinating the evacuation. For more evacuation info here: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/

No further details available at this time.

Cause: Under Investigation

Resources
Three contract crews and a water tender remained on site overnight

Boot Hill (K50289)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Location: 30 km southwest of Penticton, near Lookout Mountain
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Monday, July 14, 2014

Size: 100.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 50% contained
Change in size is due to more accurate mapping.

Interface: This is not an interface fire.

No further details available at this time.

Cause: Lightning Lightning Caused

Resources
• 10 firefighters
• 3 heavy equipment
Will continue to increase number of staff and equipment working the fire.

Jura (K60286)

Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Location: Jura, southeast of Missezula Lake, west of Princeton-Summerland
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Size: 460.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
• 70% contained

Interface: Interface Interface Fire

Evacuation Alert is in effect.

The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen are coordinating the evacuation alert and plans. More evacuation info here: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/.
No further details available at this time.

Cause: Under Investigation

Resources
• 27 firefighters
• 4 helicopters
• 9 heavy equipment
27 fire fighters, 9 heavy equipment, WMB and TEAMS staff, 4 helicopters and airtankers as needed.

 

BC | Mobile Medical Unit plays key role supporting hospital to save lives in Bella Bella plane crash

The province’s Mobile Medical Unit played a key role in saving the lives of four people on board a small plane that crashed after taking off in a remote part of B.C.’s Central Coast last weekend.

The plane went down outside St. John Harbour with the four people on board transported by emergency personnel to nearby Bella Bella where, through planning around a major First Nations gathering and a stroke of good timing, the Mobile Medical Unit – or MMU – was temporarily located.

Once the victims arrived in Bella Bella, specialized health care personnel from the MMU and Vancouver Coastal Health’s R.W. Large Memorial Hospital worked together to successfully triage, assess and treat the seriously injured victims. Two were airlifted to Vancouver, one to Victoria, while the fourth was treated and released in Bella Bella.

Of the four victims, three have now been discharged from hospital and the fourth remains under care in Vancouver.

“The Mobile Medical Unit is designed to provide additional support for special events, or as in the case in Bella Bella, an unexpected emergency,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The unit is an important resource for B.C.’s health care system and it is great news that it was able to play a key role in saving the lives of the individuals involved in this plane crash.”

“This was an excellent example of how the specialized expertise provided through the MMU can work hand-in-hand with local health services to handle an unexpected multi-trauma situation,” Dr. Ross Brown, co-senior medical director for the Vancouver Coastal Health coastal community of care, said.

Dr. Brown said that while staff at R.W. Large Memorial Hospital has the skill and expertise to care for the remote community, there is no doubt that the availability of the MMU added extra depth to the health care resources available to ensure that the four seriously injured individuals received the care and treatment needed for them to survive.

The MMU was temporarily located to the Central Coast to support a mass gathering event known as “Qatuwas” (or Tribal Journeys) being held in Bella Bella from July 13-19.

This MMU deployment was a partnership between Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority in cooperation with Bella Bella community officials and Qatuwas Festival organizers. The Qatuwas Festival attracted more than 40 canoes with 400 pullers and approximately 2,200 visitors to Bella Bella, on top of the 1,400 residents that currently live there.

Quick Facts:

• The MMU is housed in a 16-metre tractor-trailer that expands to a 90-square-metre (1,000 square feet) flexible facility with up to eight or 10 patient treatment bays, depending on mission requirements.

• The MMU can provide four flexible levels of clinical care, ranging from public health outreach and first aid to critical care and emergency life-saving surgery. In this case, the MMU matched the level of care currently offered at the hospital in Bella Bella, providing surge capacity to the RWLMH as determined by hospital leadership.

• A support trailer provides a small office space and workshop for on-the-road support, and is also stocked with a variety of medical and consumable supplies for use in the event of emergency.

• The MMU can be connected to a hospital’s shore power, city water and waste systems, but also has its own power, oxygen, water, and waste systems for self-sufficiency when required.

• The MMU can be deployed anywhere in the province to support planned hospital and health centre renovations, when additional capacity is needed to cope with large-scale public events, or when disaster strikes.

• This is one of the most remote locations to which the MMU has travelled and MMU Clinical Educators have been offering continuing medical education, as well as familiarization to the MMU, to local hospital staff during its time in the community.

BC | Preparing for wildfire evacuation

If you reside in an area that is experiencing wildfires with a potential for evacuation alerts or orders, there are some things you can do to prepare that will make this stressful time a little easier to manage.

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm, listen to your local public officials, and if possible, access online social media channels like Twitter or your local government website for information updates.

Evacuation Alerts

In the event an evacuation alert is issued for your area:

  • You will need to prepare to leave your home on very short notice.
  • Stay tuned to your local authority’s public information channels, as well as Emergency Info BC (www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca) for updates.
  • Have your emergency kit and important documents ready to go, which should include things like insurance and personal papers such as birth certificates. You should also pack:
    • Several days’ clothing.
    • Medicine/prescriptions.
    • Consider your pets and get leashes, carriers and pet food ready to go.
    • Also consider the kids and bring some comfort items, like a favourite toy or colouring books to help keep them busy.
    • Don’t forget to check in on family, friends and neighbours who may have mobility or other issues to contend with.
    • This is a good time to collect precious photos and mementos that can’t be replaced.

Evacuation Orders

If you are told the time has come to evacuate, you must leave the area immediately. Failing to leave when asked to by officials puts yourself and others at risk.

Here’s what you should do when an evacuation order is issued:

  • Grab your emergency kit and follow the directions to the identified reception centre.
  • Follow the routes specified by emergency officials. Don’t take shortcuts. A shortcut could take you to a blocked or dangerous area.
  • Take critical items already in your kit – medicine, purse, wallet and keys.
  • Take your pets in kennels or on a leash.
  • Close all doors and windows. Close and latch gates, but do not lock them.
  • Take a cell phone if you have one.
  • If there is time and it is safe to do, shut off water at the main line into your home, and switch off electricity at the breaker panel. Leave natural gas service ‘on’.

Your local authority officials will advise you when it’s safe to return home.

Learn More:

YouTube: http://youtu.be/XujT_6SaFko

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/bcgov/psa_evacuation_order_alert_what_to_do

BC | Fire crews respond to lightning-caused fires in Slocan

The Southeast Fire Centre is currently responding to two lightning-caused fires east of Highway 6 in the Slocan Valley.

Although these fires are highly visible due to their proximity to Highway 6 and local communities, there is currently no threat to any structures or communities.

  • The Enterprise Creek fire is 1.5 kilometres east of Highway 6 and 8.5 kilometres south of the village of Silverton. Multiple airtanker groups and helicopters worked on this fire throughout the day and late into the evening on Thursday, July 17. Today, three helicopters are supporting a 20-person Unit Crew that has established pump sites and is working to contain this fire, which is currently estimated at 10 hectares.
  • The Monument Creek fire is 10 kilometres east of Highway 6 and 11.5 kilometres southeast of Slocan City. Helicopters are supporting 18 firefighters who are working to contain this fire. Airtanker groups and helicopters worked late into the evening on Thursday to slow its rate of spread. This wildfire is estimated at 3.5 hectares.

These fires are not the source of the haze and smoke that’s currently visible throughout the region. Smoke has drifted into the West Kootenay area from much larger wildfires in the Okanagan Valley.

Crews have actively responded to 27 naturally occurring wildfires in the past week and have also had to respond to seven fires that were person-caused and therefore preventable. Person-caused wildfires divert firefighting resources from responding to other incidents. The Wildfire Management Branch asks the public and industry operators to exercise extreme caution in this period of increased fire danger.

The fire danger rating in the majority of the Southeast Fire Centre is currently “high”, with areas of “extreme” fire danger near Invermere, Cranbrook, Nakusp, Kaslo, Revelstoke and Grand Forks. Considering the hot and dry weather experienced over the past week, these conditions mean that forest fuels are very dry and the risk of fire is serious. Extreme caution must be exercised when using campfires this weekend.

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for reporting wildfires in the region and for using fire safely during this period of elevated fire danger.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. This includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain resource districts.

For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

BC | Out-of-province firefighters responding to assist with wildfires

An increase in fire activity around the province has prompted the Wildfire Management Branch to request the help of 200 additional fire suppression personnel from out-of-province.

On Saturday, July 19, 40 sustained action firefighters from Quebec, plus 20 from Nova Scotia and 20 from New Brunswick, will arrive in B.C. Ontario is supplying 120 more crew members who will arrive on Sunday, July 20. All personnel will be flown into Prince George and will be deployed throughout the province based on current and anticipated fire activity.

These resources join more than 1,500 provincial staff, nearly 800 B.C. contractors and 94 out-of-province personnel already engaged in fire response efforts.

Despite a temporary respite in temperatures in northern B.C., continued hot and dry conditions combined with provincewide wind gusts are expected throughout the weekend. The fire danger rating for the province is primarily “high” to “extreme”.

Campfire prohibitions are in effect in many areas of the Wildfire Management Branch’s jurisdiction.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on: