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Northern B.C. community still a ghost town after wildfire destruction

Last Updated Oct 26, 2018 at 11:21 pm PST

FILE: The Alkali Lake wildfire on Aug. 16, 2018. (Courtesy: Twitter @BCGovFireInfo)

TELEGRAPH CREEK (NEWS 1130) – This year’s record-breaking wildfire season is a distant memory for most, but three months later, some people in the north west are still homeless.

An entire community in B.C. – Telegraph Creek – is still virtually a ghost town. Almost 300 people are still not able to return home after this summer’s fire at Alkali Lake, one of the biggest fires in the province. Twenty one homes were destroyed in the tiny community, and others left standing are damaged by smoke.

Feddie Louie is the director for the emergency operations centre for the Tahltan band, which oversees the settlement.

“No one has a good home in Telegraph Creek right now, and there’s not a bunch of hotels right next door,” she says. “Everybody’s out of the community with the exception of the people working to clean it up and re-build.”

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Crews are repairing the damaged homes and clearing debris. Evauees are staying in places like Terrace, which is 700 kilometres away.

Now all they can do is wait.

“They understand the severity of the situation. They’ve been patient – yes they’d like to go ASAP – but we have to make sure that the community is safe and their health won’t be impacted when they do return home,” LouieĀ  says.

The hope is to have people back by Christmas.