The public is being reminded to stay away from areas under evacuation order at Adams Lake.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 8, evacuation orders issued in response to the Lower East Adams Lake and Bush Creek East wildfires remained in effect at the south end of the lake within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and the Adams Lake Band.
No one except emergency personnel should be accessing those areas, said the CSRD in a Tuesday update.
“This is critical to ensure the safety of the public and first responders,” explained the CSRD. “No access also helps ensure the security of the properties which have been evacuated. No one wants to return home and find they have been the victim of theft.”
This messaging from the CSRD was prompted after security personnel contracted by the regional district to patrol the area were “taunted by boaters.”
“RCMP has been informed and will be investigating,” said the CSRD. “Security is in place for the protection of the properties. These personnel deserve to be treated with respect.”
The RCMP and Conservation Officers are conducting patrols and will prevent boats from entering areas under Evacuation Order, said the CSRD. Additional security resources will be deployed should there be continued issues with boaters attempting to access the area.
On Monday, Aug. 8, the TNRD issued an evacuation order for a stretch of land along the west side of the lake. Along with issuing the evacuation order, the TNRD said it had closed the Agate Bay boat launch for recreational use until further notice. The regional district asked that people allow plenty of space for aircraft to access Adams Lake, noting “it is against the law to interfere with firefighting efforts, and puts both your safety and the safety of responders in jeopardy.”
“Enforcement measures will be in place to ensure recreational watercraft do not access the lake using this boat launch,” said the TNRD. “Further, all watercraft on Adams Lake must not travel south of Agate Bay and must stay away from BC Wildfire Service aircraft that are conducting wildfire suppression activities. Conservation Officers and RCMP are patrolling on the lake to ensure that there is no access to current Evacuation Order areas.”
The TNRD said if issues continue, it is prepared to work with the B.C. government and neighbouring jurisdictions to utilize emergency powers to close all access to Adams Lake.
“This is an extraordinary step that we hope is not necessary,” said the TNRD.
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