Telegraph Creek Fires – Sept 11 Update

Tahltan Strong EOC Logo - horiz - 5 days a week - red

Tahltan EOC Key Messages

The Tahltan EOC is where people and resources come together to manage and coordinate the emergency response to the wildfires that effected the Telegraph Creek region. The primary roles of the centre are to, (1) centralize and coordinate efforts of government officials, response agencies and private sector partners, (2) facilitate long term response operations, (3) provide access to response information and (4) identify and allocate resources.

The Tahltan EOC has transitioned to 5 days a week (9-5) on Monday, September 10th. The Telegraph Creek Region remains under a State of Emergency and Telegraph Creek still has an evacuation orders in place – from the Tahltan Band and the Regional District Kitimat-Stikine. Emergency Social Services (ESS) will continue until the orders are rescinded.

Even though the wildfire threat is diminished, the community of Telegraph Creek is NOT SAFE to return to or live in, until danger in the community has been removed.

Highway 51 remains closed and permits are still required for crews entering Telegraph Creek. Flaggers and RCMP continue to remain in place at the cattle guard. Permits can be provided to essential services and on a case-by-case basis, please visit/call the Tahltan EOC in Dease Lake.

Emergency Social Services (ESS) will be available at the Peoples Haven during the following times:

  • Monday, September 10th | 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, September 12th | 9 am – 12 pm
  • Friday, September 14th | 9 am – 5 pm

Telegraph Creek Safety Assessments and Re-entry

There are people whose homes were burned, and drone imagery has been taken to document the extent of the damage to the community. We are working to schedule a meeting for evacuees to view this footage in Dease, Iskut and Terrace.

The Peoples Haven organized site visits last week for TC residents who lost their homes. This provided an opportunity for home owners to take advantage of ash-sifting services through Samaritans Purse. All ash-sifting work is expected to be completed this coming Wednesday (September 12th) and clean-up efforts will begin.

Technical assessments (water, slope stability, septic system and danger trees) in Telegraph Creek were completed on September 6th. Water assessments were conducted on both wells and came back with no health-related concerns – further tests are being conducted to confirm these results, but this is great news! The do not consume water notice is still in effect for TC until results from a second round of testing confirm water safety.

Hazard assessments for damaged homes were completed Monday, but materials need to be sent to a lab for further analysis and these results will be back later this month.

Results from these technical and damage assessments will allow us to determine a safe date for the public to return to TC.

Temporary Housing Updates

Plans for temporary housing for Telegraph Creek have been put into motion and modular homes have been ordered.

We are also working to establish temporary housing in Dease Lake. Renovations to the 13 housing units are underway and more updates will be available soon.

We thank you for your patience – the Tahltan Band, Iskut Band, Tahltan Central Government, Emergency Management BC, the Regional District, and so many others are working around the clock to get the TC community back home as soon as possible.

Community Meetings

Meeting minutes from previous community meetings can be found HERE.

Alkali Lake Wildfire No Longer Considered a “Wildfire of Note”

The final update for the Alkali Lake fire was published on August 29th by the BC Wildfire Services. This fire is no longer considered a Wildfire of Note, meaning it is not a threat to any surrounding communities.

The estimated size of the fire is 118,318 hectares and an updated map can be found HERE.

If anyone wants updated information on the fire they can contact the Northwest Fire Centre in Smithers 250 847-6639.

Tahltan Evacuee Services

Support for Tahltan Evacuees with School-Aged Children

The Tahltan Band is providing funding for school supplies. Application forms can be found at the Iskut Band Office and the Peoples Haven, with copies also found HERE.

Once community members have been able to return to TC, an effort will be made to re-open the Tahltan School for students to complete the 2018-19 school year in the community.

Employment Insurance

Tahltan members who are unable to work due to evacuation are encouraged to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits using the following wildfire reference code: 5986015986598600. Call 1-800-206-7218 for more information

Support from the Red Cross

Telegraph Creek evacuees may also contact Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 to book an appointment for a confidential assessment for early recovery assistance and referrals to external supports. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis to assist with basic needs, such as food or clothing, and medical needs. Call centre agents are available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm PT.

Dease Lake

People’s Haven – 9am-9pm, ESS services, health and social support services, donation center, general support for community members and families and Emergency Reception Centre 250-771-5577.

Samaritans Purse Meals, social support services, disaster relief/ash sifting 250-771-3056.


Iskut Band Office – Education and Membership Services, ESS services on call 250-234-3331

Iskut Valley Health Services – Health and social support services 250-234-3511.


Cultural and Youth Events – Regular activities are being organized by Annita McPhee 604-339-4393

Northwest Integrative Healthcare Centre – Mental support services 250-635-0980.

Terrace Reception Centre – FNHA and ESS services 4545 Lazelle Ave 250-615-6100 | ESS Emergency Hotline 250-641-2443

Indian Residential School Survivors Society – Mental support services 250-975-0567

Pharmasave – Medications refills 250-635-2206

Donation Centre – Food, toiletries, blankets 5412 Highway 16 West, 9am to 9pm

Spotless Drycleaners & Laundromat – Free laundry services for Tahltan members, please call the EOC for the account number 250-771-5050


Those interested in donating to the Telegraph Creek Relief Fund, please contact Calvin Carlick, Executive Director, Tahltan Central Government. Email: Phone: (250)-771-3274

The Tahltan Nation and all its governing bodies and communities are extremely grateful for the international and local firefighting efforts, volunteers, ongoing support and all the donations over the course of this devastating event.