Telegraph Creek Wildfire Recovery Newsletter – May 21

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MAY 21, 2019 

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Derek Ingram – Telegraph Creek Recovery Manager


  • Updates and current Recovery
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Memorial Garden Project
  • Ministry of Transportation updates
  • BC Wildfire Updates
  • Dease Lake Fuel Management Project

Updates and Current Recovery Efforts

Updating the Tahltan Emergency Response Plan

The Tahltan Band has hired Urban Systems and Steve Newton of Innomergence to lead the process of revising and developing a strong Emergency Response Plan for the Tahltan Band and the surrounding area. The team is currently planning a stakeholder meeting in Dease Lake inviting organizations involved in emergency response to collaborate and discuss what can be learned from last year’s fire.

The plan will be completed in its new form by early to mid-summer.

Within this project there is the training/mentoring of 3 community champions (one from each community) to be the contact/point person in the event of another emergency.

Memorial Garden Project

Galore Creek Mining Corporation is funding the rebuilding of the community garden in Telegraph Creek. Galore was looking for a legacy project to support and with this project focusing on the well-being and health of the community, this project is a perfect fit for the company.

This year will be phase one of the Memorial Garden Project. The goals of this year are to get the infrastructure in place with a small harvest program. Year two of the project (2020) will be a full harvest season. The future goal would be to have a Garden Manager to oversee the health and longevity of the garden to ensure this project continues.

This project will include:

  • Rebuilding the past garden- which was an area of about 100 ft x 100 ft to the North of the Tanning Shelter.
  • Building raised garden beds.
  • Planting of fruit trees.
  • Two 8’ x 12 ‘ greenhouses.
  • Erecting wind break fences at the North and South ends of the garden.
  • Creating a park area on the North side of the garden which will include a green area with turf, a fire pit, and log furniture.

This project will be started on June 3rd and the Recovery manager and Deputy Recovery Manager will be onsite managing and getting dirty wheel barrowing, digging holes etc.

We are looking for 6 workers to assist us in building the garden and park. The employment will go from Monday June 3rd to Sunday June 9th.

If you are interested contact Derek at (250) 771-3119 or email at

Ministry of Transportation updates

Sandi Griffith from Ministry of Transportation has followed-up on previous discussions regarding ongoing monitoring of the Telegraph Creek road.  MOTI geotechnical staff will be conducting geotechnical surveys along the Highway 51 corridor this week to assess post wildfire conditions. This is part of their continuing monitoring program and will involve 3 personnel working from the highway. Survey work may involve hiking drainages and ridges several hundred meters up and down from the highway. We are expecting to be on site April 1 to April 4, 2019.  These works will concentrate on the Ministry infrastructure; however, if any specific vulnerabilities are identified, we will notify the band office.

The community members from Telegraph Creek have been asked by Sandi Griffith of Ministry of Transportation to contact her if any road changes are observed.

Findings from Ministry of Transportation field assessments

Two Geotechnical Engineers from the Ministry of Transportation and a Geomorphologist from the Ministry of Forests carried out a post Wildfire Geohazard Site Assessment along the Hwy 51 corridor in early April.  The assessment did not indicate any areas of catastrophic slope instability, or other areas of major concern. The main recommendation from the crew was continued regular monitoring of the area, including reporting and documenting changes.  Monitoring will continue by local staff and the Geotechnical Engineers.  We encourage community members travelling the Hwy 51 corridor to report any changes observed or areas of concern to the Dease Lake MoTI office.  The local maintenance contractor will be carrying out routine ditch and drainage maintenance and sign installation along the road in the coming weeks.

Sandi Griffith: District Operations Manager

Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure Phone (250) 771-4511 Cell (250)267-4046

BC Wildfire Updates

Introduction of Jimmy Haigh – BC Wildfire Crew Lead for area.


Cassiar Update - May 21Dease Lake Fuel Management Project

For Immediate Release 2019FLNR0143-000954 May 14, 2019

DEASE LAKE ʹ The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, in collaboration with the BC Wildfire Service, plans to complete a 23-hectare fuel management project around the community of Dease Lake throughout the spring and summer of 2019 to help reduce wildfire risks.  The areas to be treated are located near or, in some cases, next to private property. They were identified as facing a high wildfire risk and made a high priority to be treated in the Cassiar Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which includes the communities of Iskut, Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake.

Fuel management projects can include activities such as pruning, thinning, clearing and burning or chipping flammable materials such as trees, other types of vegetation and dead wood. Piles of these materials will be chipped or burned when weather and site conditions are suitable. Wind speed, wind direction and venting conditions will be considered prior to igniting any piles to help reduce the amount of smoke generated. Trees that are cut down will be used as firewood by community residents. Larger pieces that cannot be removed from the treated area will be left lying on the ground to provide habitat for plants, animals and insects, and a source of nutrients for the soil.

FireSmart and fuel management: Fuel management is a key component of the FireSmart program. The objective is to reduce wildfire risks on Crown land and nearby properties, while making it easier and safer for firefighters to access and work in the treated areas in the event of a wildfire. These goals are achieved by:

  • Removing flammable materials from the forest floor (such as branches, needles and leaf debris), piling them up and chipping or burning them under controlled conditions;
  • Pruning the lower branches of trees that could otherwise allow a surface wildfire to spread into the forest canopy;
  • Thinning the forest canopy to leave more open space between trees;
  • Removing dead standing trees that could fuel a wildfire or pose a safety risk to trail users; and
  • Retaining mature coniferous and deciduous trees, wildfire habitat trees and coarse woody debris (i.e., logs on the forest floor that are home to various species of wildlife) to promote biodiversity.

Tahltan Band Dease Lake IR 9 Fuel Management Project 

The Tahltan Band has assembled a crew of six people to work on IR#9 in Dease Lake to remove unnecessary fuels from surrounding forest area to minimize risk of forest fires. The project started May 10th and is scheduled to finish up tentatively by the end of May. However assessments and fuel management will be ongoing.

9 Mile Cemetery Rehabilitation Project

TrinAnne Zubek Gleesen is coordinating the 9 Mile Cemetery Rehabilitation project.

There has been a crew that has cleaned up debris and landscaped the area of the Cemetery. TrinaAnne is currently speaking with community members to identify unmarked burial spots. The work left on this rehabilitation project of 9 Mile Cemetery is fencing and getting the wooden markers made for each site.

The project is scheduled to be completed July 1st, 2019.

Community Comprehensive Planning Updates

The Tahltan Band is in the process of developing a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP).  A CCP is a road map that will guide the work of Tahltan Council, Band staff and members to shape the future of Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek. Engaging with Tahltan members is THE MOST important part of developing the CCP. To develop the plan, the Tahltan Band needs to know what changes members would like see in our communities.

Two community planning meetings have already been held, one in March and another in May. The March meeting collected feedback on shared values, vision and priorities and the May meeting engaged Tahltan members on their goals for shared spaces, infrastructure and economic development. The next meeting will discuss community services and programs, with the exact time and date to be confirmed. A draft version of the Tahltan Band Comprehensive Community Plan will be presented to members for discussion and feedback.

A CCP Survey was developed to ensure all Tahltan members living in Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake have the opportunity to share their long-term vision and goals for their community. Tahltan CCP Survey Coordinators will be going door to door to distribute, answer questions and collect completed surveys. To thank members for their thoughts and ideas, survey participants will automatically be entered into a draw.

If you have any question about the Tahltan Band community planning process, please be in touch with Shana Dennis, Tahltan Band Manager,

Unmet Needs Committee

A form was sent out on March 15th , 2019 to Telegraph Creek Residents. The questionnaire was asking for specifics on something that you need as a priority for where you live and or something you lost in last years wildfire. An example is a chainsaw, or a brush saw. The end date for community requests was May 15th, 2019. No request will be processed after that date.

Job Posting

Tahltan Band Emergency Program Coordinator

The emergency Program Coordinator is accountable to Tahltan Band Administration and performs duties under the oversight of the Band Manager, O&M, Housing and Health managers.

Job Overview

As an Emergency Program Coordinator, you will direct the organization’s emergency operations program and provide the framework for organizational activities during emergency operations. There are four main elements of emergency management: preparedness/prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery.

Responsibilities/ and Duties:

  • Collaborate with various departments and external agencies/institutions to provide emergency management support to Tahltan Band Council and administration;
  • Develop and implement plans, procedures and protocols to maintain community awareness regarding emergency preparedness;
  • Identify existing gaps within the integrated planning and emergency response and recovery programs, systems and technologies and formulates recommendations and strategies by developing and utilizing Emergency Management Steering Committee
  • Assist in the development and implementation of plans and strategic and operational procedures and protocols for emergency management functions;
  • Identify, coordinate, train and prepare emergency management staff and volunteers for roles in response coordination;
  • Conduct quality assurance, data analysis and develop applicable maps in support of daily and response coordination operations;
  • Review disaster specific emergency plans and provide input and evaluation on emergency management goals and objectives;
  • Lead and or facilitate stakeholder consultation sessions to develop plans;
  • Develop and implement emergency management systems and ensure they comply to applicable government and Tahltan Band regulations and cultural competency requirements;
  • Create incident management report process and relevant forms;
  • Coordinate logistics of disaster response coordination or crisis management activities;
  • Perform tests and evaluations on currently implemented emergency management plans in accordance to applicable regulations;
  • Inspect facilities and equipment used in emergency management operations to ensure that they are working properly;
  • Develop and circulate instructional materials to educate and inform community-based emergency response providers;
  • Oversee joint disaster mitigation regional projects;
  • Identify grant funding opportunities for further Emergency Management projects and programs as determined by Tahltan Emergency Management Steering Committee
  • Other duties as required


Tahltan Band is seeking an exceptional individual with the requisite skill set to successfully implement the first stage of their new Emergency Management strategy. The following qualifications are preferred; however, consideration will be given to candidates demonstrating an exceptional background in emergency management success. This position is season from April 1 to September 30 each year:

  • Demonstrate experience in effectively working with Frist Nations people and organizations
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher post-secondary education in Emergency Management or equivalent level of education with certification in Emergency Management is preferred or a combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated experience in the four pillars of emergency management: preparedness/prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery
  • Background in developing and implementing plans, operational procedures and protocols to enact emergency management procedures
  • Demonstrated ability to judge response capability limitations and propose tactics for coordinated response activities
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of BC Emergency Management Systems (BCEMS), the Federal Emergency Management Act and the BC Emergency Program Act
  • Strong understand of and respect for First Nations values and culture
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain positive relationships with organizations and residents of Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake area;
  • Knowledge of the administrative procedures and practices of Frist Nations, regional districts and provincial government and any other pertinent service provider;
  • Experience developing, maintaining and reporting on project/program budgets
  • Excellent leadership, reliability, interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to communicate well with a wide variety of audiences
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Organizational skills with the ability to coordinate with multiple agencies
  • Willingness to be on-call in order to perform duties as emergency circumstances warrant
  • Maintain the utmost confidentiality
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to use tact and good judgement in dealing with sensitive and complex issues

If interested Contact Shanna Dennis – Tahltan Band Manager at (250) 771-5577 or (250) 235-3151

Telegraph Creek Recovery Newsletters will be coming out every four weeks.


Derek Ingram – Telegraph Creek Wildfire Recovery Manager

Box 234 Dease Lake V0C 1L0 (250) 771-3119