In Dawson Creek, the wildfires are a long distance away, with the only physical effect being the smoky haze that has engulfed the Peace Region recently. But for some, the fires across BC hit close to home.
Aggie Jackson, who lives in DC but is from Telegraph Creek, says she has never spent more time on the computer than looking for updates on the wildfire that forced her hometown to evacuate.
“It’s very hurtful to watch all this unfold — you feel so hopeless,” she says. “It’s horrible, it’s a nightmare.”
According to the Canadian Press, the 90-square kilometre fire which has already destroyed dozens of homes and properties in Telegraph Creek, which is largely home to people from the Tahltan First Nation, has now merged with a 190-square kilometre wildfire.
Residents received an evacuation notice August 5 and have gone to Dease Lake and Iskut, which are both over 100 km away.
According to DriveBC, Highway 51 is closed in both directions from Telegraph Creek to the junction with Highway 37.
“There’s quite a few people that live around here in Dawson Creek that are from Telegraph Creek, and have a lot of concern,” says Jackson, who has sisters who live in Telegraph Creek and are helping out in Iskut.
“There’s so many people hurt and lost, not knowing what their town looks like, or if there’s a home to go back to,” she continues. “I’ve talked to some that have lost their homes. They’re totally lost, but thankful for their lives. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through.”