White Rock Lake wildfire recovery shifts into rebuild stage

Those impacted dealing with a number of concerns, from lack of insurance to mental health impacts

The destruction of the White Rock Lake wildfire was widespread, particularly on Westside Road. (Contributed)

Recovery efforts continue from the devastating White Rock Lake wildfire, but more support is needed.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) has been working in assisting impacted residents with recovery. Immediate needs have been addressed and efforts have shifted to rebuilding.

The need to extend recovery supports in several fronts could also see the district request extended Emergency Management BC funding.

The RDCO board will receive updates and a presentation from Clarke Geoscience Thursday, Feb. 10, following the August 2021 blaze that destroyed approximately 75 structures in the North Westside.

Findings of the Post-Wildfire Environmental and Hazardous Conditions Assessment conducted for the Provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will be presented as well as the separate, but connected, Community Hazardous Condition Assessment done on behalf of RDCO in the Killiney Beach and Estamont areas that were significantly impacted by the wildfire.

A report from director of engineering services David Komaike outlines a number of common themes from those impacted. They include lack of insurance coverage to rebuild or repair, short-term food allowances and longer-term accommodation support, relief on current year tax assessments, water and garbage fees, assistance understanding complicated insurance policies, need for mental health counselling and more.

Challenges in rebuilding present another set of concerns, including slope stability compromised due to increased hydrology changes.

“Wildfire related impacts will be the greatest within the first five years,” Komaike’s report reads.

Online links are now available to all the documents and information that will be presented during the meeting at rdco.com/agenda.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. and once underway, a livestream link will be available on that webpage for anyone wishing to view the proceedings. For those unable to watch live, that’s also where you will find a link to a recording of the session, when it is available.

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire damages an estimated $77M: Insurance Bureau of Canada

READ MORE: PHOTOS: White Rock Lake wildfire devastates North Westside homes


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B.C. Wildfires 2021