Neighbours affected by wildfires continue to support each other

Residents have continually supported one another since the Coffee Creek and Red Creek fires sparked earlier this month.

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A picture of a barbed wire fence backlit by a sunset with smoke.
Smoke from the Coffee Creek Wildfire. (Jordan Prentice, Energeticcity.ca)

CHARLIE LAKE, B.C. — Residents have continually supported one another since the Coffee Creek and Red Creek fires sparked earlier this month.

Graham O’Day, a Red Creek resident, says he and his neighbours use a Facebook group to keep in touch, especially during events like the recent fires.

“The community just supports each other and looks out for each other in any way possible,” O’Day said.

“And I mean, we don’t always all talk, but when something like this hits, as it did with the wind storms, we get together just to ensure everybody’s safe.”

O’Day says people have been looking after homes and animals on properties near the fires.

“We took our horses for a two-kilometre walk on Saturday morning at 2 a.m. to get them into a safer area, and our neighbours have them still,” O’Day said.

His horses will likely stay with his neighbour until it’s safe for them to return to his property.

In addition to a couple of neighbours staying in place and keeping an eye on the community, he says an RCMP officer is parked at the top of Red Creek Road, only letting residents into the area if needed.

The Coffee Creek wildfire is no longer considered a wildfire of note and is now listed as under control on the BC Wildfire Service website.

Jenna Felske, who lives close to the Coffee Creek wildfire, spent May 3rd packing and looking for her cats in case her family needed to evacuate. She says she is grateful for everyone that has helped out during this stressful time.

Alan Bourdon, also a resident near the Coffee Creek wildfire, said community members helped him move livestock and pack up before evacuating his home.

“I had people show up to help us move and haul things out for sure. It went well,” Bourdon said.

“We ended up going back around midnight and stayed the night at home, but the horses were off the property.”

He also noted a few companies with tankers of water that were there to help out, including Sieg Services, Rumble Industries, Tidy Trucking, Tracker Contracting and Aggressive Contracting.

The Coffee Creek wildfire is no longer a concern, but those in the Red Creek and Boundary Lake areas are still under evacuation alerts and orders.

For more information on evacuation alerts and orders, visit the Peace River Regional District’s website.

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