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Information on Structural Assessments within the RDNO

Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The RDNO is receiving many inquiries from residents who have been evacuated due to the White Rock Lake fire regarding the safety of their homes and requests for structure assessment information.

We want to start by saying we deeply empathize with what everyone is going through at this time and understand your desire to be given more detailed information regarding your homes. Please know that we are committed to sharing information as soon as it is received. These updates may feel limited on specific local details because of the challenges that an active wildfire can pose.

The White Rock Lake fire is an unsafe and active wildfire zone. RDNO staff would be put at risk if they were to enter the area in order to complete structure assessments at this time. We know it is hard, but ask residents to please understand that it takes time for the BC Wildfire Service, first responders, and local authorities to do their jobs. Right now, that job is to fight this out-of-control wildfire.

The ability for Regional Districts and local authorities to complete structure assessments in their area varies depending on where they are located within the active fire area. For safety reasons, it must be confirmed that there is no risk of the fire changing direction and compromising staff well-being. Some Regional Districts have had the opportunity to get crews out to complete assessments due to decreased risk and fire conditions. Unfortunately, we have not had this opportunity. When areas are ready to be released from an Evacuation Order and the fire has subsided with no further loss possible, assessments and reporting can begin.

We know and understand why receiving updates on this information is important to you, and it is important to us as well. Please be assured that when the area is deemed safe for entry and the risk to life and health is no longer there - we will get structure assessments underway. Once information from assessments is received we will compile a list of affected properties (if any) and reach out to families privately where possible. Should the need arise, our priority will be to talk with those families first, after which we will begin the reporting process.

The last few weeks have been stressful for our community, but we ask you to please be kind, respectful and patient with us in these times. It has been challenging for everyone and we are all working through it the best we can.