Dease Lake – Community Meeting Minutes – Aug 18th

Telegraph Creek Fires – Community Update Meeting Minutes

Dease Lake Community Hall – August 18, 2018

Start time: 8:15 pm

End time: 8:45 pm

Shana Denis, Tahltan Band Manager

  • Chief Rick Mclean is not here tonight, he is in Telegraph Creek
  • Emergency Operations Center is located here in Dease. People have been getting organized, open 7 days a week (9-5 pm): 250-771-5050
  • Lots of assessments and meetings have been taking place over the past week. Very preliminary visits and assessments have been done, some insurance adjusters came and we will begin working on a recovery plan soon.

Daily Updates: Telegraph Creek

  • New Tahltan Band Manager – Shana Dennis
  • Structures – Homes, buildings, etc.
    • Preliminary insurance assessment was conducted yesterday
    • Still trying to understand the extent of the damage
    • Good news – pump house/reservoir is still in good shape and is providing the necessary water needed to manage the fires in the area. Minimal damages have been done to these facilities. Very thankful because we need water for community.
    • Lots of clean up will need to be done before the water is drinkable.
  • BC Hydro
    • BC Hydro will be providing support to their customers in Telegraph Creek who have been affected by the wildfires.
    • A credit will be applied to bills of customers who had to evacuate their home. Credits will be dated the day of the Evacuation Order, August 5th, 2018.
    • BC Hydro has also temporarily stopped issuing bills to customers in Telegraph Creek. No further BC Hydro bills will be issued until people start to return to their homes and the appropriate credit adjustments have been made.
    • For customers who have tragically lost their homes, BC Hydro will waive their entire bill from this billing period. Once these homes are re-built, BC Hydro will not charge customers for re-connection fees.
  • Northwesttel
    • Forgiving charges since the evacuation order
    • No equipment loss fees will be charged to anyone who needs to disconnect their due to loss of home or business
  • All Crews -> Heavy equipment operators, Riversong crew, etc.
    • We still have crews in Telegraph on the ground
  • Tahltan Band Advisory -> Please do not consume the water
  • Operations/Planning department is looking into housing possibilities in Dease Lake for evacuees
    • Assessments are being conducted as housing is a major priority
    • Further updates will be given soon
    • We want to bring our people home and we want to keep our people in our territory who want to be here
  • Whitehorse has housing facilities available for Telegraph evacuees
    • Please call the People’s Haven for more information: 250-771-5577
  • The EOC has been receiving increased support each day, which will allow us to strength our capacity
  • Services are being increased in the EOC, post secondary, finances etc.
    • New employee contacts will be released
    • ESS contacts will also be shared
  • The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine is offering staffing support for the EOC
  • Community meeting will take place in Terrace on August 20th, 4:00 to 7:00 at Kitsumkalum
    • Dinner will be provided
    • Meeting will be video recorded and shared on the Tahltan Facebook page

Assessments: INAC, Regional District & Urban Systems

  • 1st look: will be doing more in-depth assessments within the next few weeks when it is safe – Hazards (trees, slopes, etc), water & septic systems, etc.


Emergency Operations Centre (EOC):

  • Responsible for emergency and recovery for the community
  • Oversees the physical infrastructure repairs and replacements, including developing plans for short and long-term housing capital and infrastructure
  • We are still in a “State of Emergency” so right now the EOC’s focus is the protection of the remaining structures and assessing the damage.
  • Once the “State of Emergency” is over then the EOC will focus on recovery, Rebuilding our Community. 250-771-5050


  • ESS (Emergency Social Services) and Tahltan Band Health & Social Services are responsible for health & social services for the Evacuees
  • Please call the Haven in Dease Lake: Ask for Kim Rowe or Nancy Quock 250-771-5577

Things People should keep in mind:

  • Crews are working around the clock (fire fighters, operators, TBC staff, and EOC, etc)
  • Evacuation order still remains in place
  • Road access is heavily restricted and only granted for necessary crews and firefighters at this time


  • Tahltan members outside of the territory, we haven’t forgotten about you. When we get to a stage of recovery planning it will be community based, and all members will be included.
  • The next community meeting in Dease Lake will take place on August 20th at 8:00, Dease Lake Community Hall