This is a look at the Hanceville wildfire in the Chilcotin west of Williams Lake Sunday afternoon. (Photo submitted)

‘We have to try and save our homes’: Tl’etinqox First Nation

The members are gathering at the Anaham Band office to serve food and water as they wait it out

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nation community of Anaham Reserve are defying an evacuation order to leave the Chilcotin in order to try and save their homes.

“We sent out the elders today but anyone who is young enough and fit enough is staying behind to fight the fire,” said Cecil Grinder.

“We have to try and save our homes.”

An estimated 200 to 300 members are staying behind – a decision Chief Joe Alphonse announced Sunday morning.

Grinder said officials wanted them out but they refused.

Forests Minister John Rustad called the news troubling.

“I understand why he wants to do it but this is a serious risk given the challenge of what could happen with rapid moving fires, he said in a statement. “We’ve connected him with satellite communications in case we lose all ground lines and will be in frequent communications with him.”

He and several other community members were in Williams Lake gathering food and emergency supplies such as propane to take back to their community, which has been cut off from power since Saturday.

They said they would be travelling back tonight on the closed Highway 20 no matter what.

Travellers returning from the area, located about an hour’s drive west of Williams Lake described seeing a “moonscape” beginning at historic Lees’s Corner, which was lost to fire Friday night.

RELATED: Lee’s Corner destroyed in wildfire

The members are gathering at the Anaham Band office to serve food and water as they wait it out, Grinder said, and will retreat to a safe location if they need to.

 

Anaham residents Cecil Grinder and Clayton Stump load up their vehicle with food and emergency supplies in Williams Lake Sunday evening with plans to take it back to community members in the evacuation zone in the Chilcotin.

Just Posted

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

Victoria police concerned about missing man’s well-being

Delmer was reported missing on March 19

Fracking, economy, climate at centre of Green Party town hall in Metchosin

Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local candidate David Merner take questions from community

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read