Dease Lake – Community Meeting Minutes – August 20th

Update Meeting Minutes

Dease Lake

August 20, 2018

Feddie Louie, EOC Director

Moment of Silence for Lorraine Edzerza

  • Chief and council are meeting with members in Terrace
  • Big thank you to all volunteers, every organization/person that has donated their time, supplies, money and other resources

Updates from Telegraph Creek

  • Structures – Homes, buildings, etc.
    • No updates since Saturday
    • Still trying to understand the extent of the damage
    • As we said on Saturday the pump house/reservoir/water mains 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.
      • We will continue to do testing on this system for the next year
    • Assessments: INAC, Regional District & Urban Systems
      • No update – 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.
      • These assessments will lead the long-term planning
    • BC Hydro – This was mentioned on Saturday, but might want to briefly repeat
      • 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 – This was mentioned on Saturday, but might want to briefly repeat
      • 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
    • Tahltan Band has put out an advisory to not consume the water in Telegraph and this is still in effect.
      • If you know of anyone going in there remind people to not drink the water

Housing for Evacuees

  • 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
  • Whitehorse has housing facilities available for Telegraph evacuees
    • People’s Haven will have more information on these housing options for people who are interested

EOC in Dease Lake

  • Responsible for emergency and recovery for the community, open from 9 to 5, 7 days a week
  • 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
  • The EOC in Dease Lake is continuing to receive increase human resource support
    • The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine is offering staffing support for the EOC
  • A detailed list of contacts working within the EOC can be found on the TBC website

Support Services for Community Members

  • 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
  • Samaritans Purse in Dease Lake can be contacted at 250-771-3056
    • Offering further mental health services and ash shifting for community members once it is safe for them to enter Telegraph
  • We are working on restoring band and health services in Dease Lake, Terrace and Iskut. Working with local agencies along with staff to make this happen.
    • Home care, education, cultural activities, youth and family activities
    • Updates will be given when we have them


  • Starting tomorrow, daily updates with relevant information for Tahltan members will be published on the TBC website and Facebook Page every morning
  • Community Meetings are taking place every two days in Dease Lake, and meeting minutes can be found on our website.
  • We will be working to schedule more meetings in other communities where our members have relocated to. Chief McLean is currently in Terrace speaking with the Tahltan members there.
  • Our communications team is now established within the EOC and will be working with leads in Iskut, Terrace, Smithers, Prince George, Whitehorse and any other communities where Tahltan members may have evacuated.

Other Updates

  • Fire training took place for community members over the past few days, allowing increased support in Telegraph

Things People should keep in mind

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


  • We understand that there are Tahltan members are spread across the province, but 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

Ashlynn – BC

  • Here to support the EOC

Dale – Wildfires

  • Been controlling fire operations here for the past week
  • Fire started 1st of August, ran through Telegraph then expanded along the river
    • In the last ten days or so, the fire has not grown dramatically
    • We have had unfavourable weather conditions during this time, but we have worked to hold this line
  • It has been quiet the past few couple of days
  • If it is smoky in Telegraph it most likely clear here in Dease
    • When it is smoky we cannot do bucketing or much flying
  • Today crews assessed a location for another potential machine and hand guard
  • Over on the river, south east side, crews put in hand guards in and around the buildings over there
  • The fire is still backing down the hill and tonight the fire was backed right up to some of the guards. The guards are holding, but there is still some risk to some of these structures
  • We have been working with TNDC to allow people to travel the road safely
  • Structural protection units are in town day and night, and these machines are checked on a very regular basis
  • I don’t think I have came across any other community who is as connected or resilient.
  • The fire might not be put out today or tomorrow, but it will be put out.
  • Tonight is my last meeting, but the Murdoch team is coming back into town.

Bob Mills – Emergency Management BC

  • Gained two new team members in the EOC
  • We are starting to get more organized, we had supplies come up from Terrace which will help organizing the planning process
  • Wishing Dale and Amy the best and thanking them for making the trip across the world to help out our community
  • We are going to get through this together. We are either going to hold each other tighter or yell a little louder.