The Village of Clinton's approach to Wildfire Recovery is community based. We will also collaborate with neighbouring communities and Regional Districts while focusing on Clinton's recovery.
Daniela Dyck has taken on the responsibilities of Recovery Manager for the Village.Please contact Daniela,Mondays - Fridays 8:30 - 4:30 at the Village officePhone: 250-459-2261Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgAfter hours cell: 250-457-0776
British Columbia’s Interior and Cariboo regions were significantly impacted by wildfire during the 2017 summer season. I have resided in the interior for 37 years and have never witnessed so much destruction as we saw this year. Not only were communities impacted by being on evacuation alerts and evacuation orders, many communities were cut off by highway closures resulting in catastrophic economic and social impacts to the residents and business community. The Forest industry suffered massive destruction of fiber supply that could result in future mill closures. The overall impact of the Elephant Hill wildfire to the Clinton area truly is yet to be determined.
As a long-time resident of Clinton, having worked and volunteered in the community I have developed many relationships with other residents and business owners. I can relate to their struggles and frustrations as my family and I were evacuated just as they were. Clinton is my home, as the Community Development Coordinator, I have worked diligently to implement growth and sustainability strategies in the community. As the Recovery Manager I will collaborate with other managers in the area to ensure Clinton's inclusion for regional recovery while focusing on community specific recovery plans, strategies and objectives that meet the community's needs.
WHAT WILL RECOVERY LOOK LIKE FOR CLINTON?
Clinton will take a 3 tiered approach to Wildfire Recovery. The pillars that will compile the plan are:
- Economic Recovery
- Social Recovery
- Environmental Recovery
Economic approach will consider:
Under the economic pillar we will engage with Clinton’s business community gathering and assessing data to fully understand the impact. We will initiate conversations that will guide the business community to identify strategies that they wish to implement on the path to recovery. Impact studies will be conducted with each business on the highway corridor to assess revenue losses and their impact regarding the sustainability of the business. The data gathered during these consultations will identify the strategies that will be included in the recovery plan. I believe that the key to building successful economic recovery strategies will be dependent on bringing the business community together and formulating a cohesive strategy for the community that includes consideration of the regional strategies being implemented in the area.
Social approach will consider:
Under the Social Impact pillar in the Recovery Plan we will engage with community members and collect data to set a base line for social impact. Effects to be considered include loss of wages due to road closures, evacuations, etc., fear of being trapped due to road closures (perceived lack of escape routes), anxiety over lack of supplies in the community, health concerns, feelings of isolation and helplessness the list will grow as we engage with residents and identify their concerns. The recovery process for the social impact will vary with each individual however; the completed document will address the social healing process and develop a plan to mitigate future stressors in the event of another wildfire incident.
Environmental approach will consider:
In terms of wildfires, post disaster recovery efforts following a wildfire begin with assessing fire damage to trees, shrubs, soil and wildlife. Wildfire recovery strategies are dependent on the intensity of the fire (scale of low to high), which determines the extent of fire damage and effective forest restoration. Low intensity fires consist of minimal damage to small trees without burning all of the forest and the majority of leaves or needles remain on the trees. Meanwhile, wildfires burning at moderate intensity result in the majority of the leaves and ground cover being consumed by flames while the largest, most healthy trees remain intact. The most devastating wildfires burn at high intensity and destroy 50 to 100% of the forest, including all the ground cover. The Elephant Hill wildfire was ranked a category 5 and 6 fire multiple times throughout its duration. This would imply that the damage to the forest and the eco system it sustains is significant. A complete assessment of the forest surrounding Clinton will be completed including a comprehensive analysis of fiber supply impacts. We will consider opportunities for harvesting, reforestation, recreational opportunities on fire affected lands and return of wildlife.