Inside The Smoke: Tiny communities offer selfless evacuation support

Williams Lake, BC Wildfires

2017-08-21 09:42 PDT

Police officers in gas masks look over fire evacuation orders.

Many RCMP officers have been impressed by the generosity in spirit of small and often remote BC towns, as they faced the possible destruction of their communities, during the wildfires crisis.

On the evening of August 18th, 2017 an evacuation order was issued for the Tatla Lake Region , located in the West Chilcotin, between Williams Lake and Bella Coola. RCMP officers arrived in the Tatla Lake region in the late evening, conducting door to door notifications of the evacuation order.

At approximately 2 am, August 19, while in Graham Lake, police officers were speaking with one resident, when he enquired as to the fuel status of the RCMP vehicles. The resident, who also happened to be the owner of the only gas station in Graham Lake, put off evacuating his personal belongings and opened up the station to make sure each RCMP vehicle had a full tank of fuel to continue with the evacuation order. Only after this selfless offering did the shop owner returned to his residence to pack up his belongings and leave town.

That alone was a very generous act, explains Constable James Mason, spokesperson for the RCMP wildfires assistance efforts in Williams Lake. But then that night the RCMP were also joined by ten Tatla Lake Search and Rescue volunteers who unselfishly offered their time, ensuring each resident was given as much time as possible to make arrangements to evacuate.

I have to say we’ve been pretty humbled by the warm response we’ve been receiving in some of these small communities, says Cst. Mason. And I think we may have a few more police officers now considering applying for a posting in some of these small towns.

Released by

Cst. James Mason
Media Relations Officer

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