B.C. mining town rebranded as an outdoor paradise hopes to survive another wildfire season – by Mary Zeidler (CBC News British Columbia – June 16, 2023)


Dr. Charles Helm is safe at home in Tumbler Ridge, B.C., this week after a wildfire forced him and his wife to flee. “Any community that gets threatened by wildfires, it’s a tragedy, and everyone is very stressed, and it’s horrible,” said Helm, a semi-retired physician who has lived in the town for 28 years and has written a handful of books about its history.

“You can’t exaggerate how terrible it is.” Evacuation orders for the District of Tumbler Ridge, a town of about 2,500 people in the foothills of the Rockies and about an hour’s drive south of Dawson Creek, were downgraded to evacuation alerts on Thursday.

Residents like Helm have to remain ready to leave at a moment’s notice lest the winds shift and fan the flames of the West Kiskatinaw River wildfire back toward town. But with rain in the forecast for Sunday and Monday, hope is on the horizon.

Keeping watch for wildfires that could destroy entire communities is the new seasonal norm for residents like Helm in Tumbler Ridge, as well as many other communities across B.C. “Every year, it’s like Russian roulette: which is the town that’s going to have the hardest hit this year,” he said.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tumbler-ridge-wildfire-fears-1.6879950