Wildfire Update (23 09 18)

A message from Executive Director Michael Shapcott, Monday, September 18, 2023

Nearby wildfire hot spots flaring up

The Bush Creek East wildfire continues to burn near the Sorrento Centre and our farm, generating smoke and visible flames. The 43,380 hectare wildfire is classified as out-of-control by BC Wildfire, though the fire perimeter has not grown much in recent days.

Environment Canada has issued an air quality alert for our region once again on Monday due to wildfire smoke as the highly visible wildfire smoke continues to fill our valley.

On Saturday, BC Wildfire and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District issued an alert warning of increased fire activity in the coming days. “There remain large areas of unburnt fire fuel within the Bush Creek East perimeter. The flare-ups currently being reported are not new fires but are hot spots within the already-defined Bush Creek East Wildfire. With the fire also continuing to burn in tree root systems underground, hot dry weather can cause the fire activity to increase,” according to the alert.

There are BC Wildfire crews on the ground, along with volunteers, tackling the hot spots, along with helicopters dousing the wildfire with large buckets of water scooped from the Shuswap.

The Sorrento Centre has safely re-opened and welcomed several groups of overnight and day guests. We have day and multi-day events scheduled into the fall and winter. Please check our website at www.sorrentocentre.ca as some events have been modified or postponed due to the wildfire.

When the Bush Creek East wildfire roared through North Shuswap and then South Shuswap, our Centre was forced to evacuate almost 200 guests on Aug. 18, along with our staff. Eight days later, we were allowed to return. We remain on evacuation alert, which means we are ready to leave at a moment’s notice. All our staff, guests and neighbours are safe.

While we continue to monitor fire behaviour and air quality to ensure the well-being of our guests, our staff and our neighbours, we are turning to recovery and re-building. Many of our neighbours, especially in the North Shuswap and nearby Squilax, lost homes and other buildings. Their lives and livelihoods have been severely disrupted.

The Sorrento Centre will continue to publish updates as required over the coming days.

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