In August, wildfires decimated the Tahltan Territory, with all residents of Telegraph Creek, B.C. forced to evacuate. Now, three months, the people of Telegraph Creek will begin to return home starting Nov. 15. All evacuees should be back by Dec. 20.
The Telegraph Creek community lost 21 homes, two businesses and several community buildings in the 120,000-hectare blaze. More than 160 structures were destroyed in the region, which included historical structures and fish camps.
Feddie Louie, director and recovery manager. “The specific return date will depend on when each home has been cleaned of smoke damage and refurbished.”
Chief Rick McLean of the Tahltan Band is overwhelmed with gratitude for the support the Tahltan Nation has received.
“One of the things that I have learned is that you really see the true colours of people during a crisis. I am overwhelmed by the love and support the Tahltan Nation has received. Thank you to all volunteers, donors and to those who have assisted.”
Upon hearing the news of the upcoming return of families and community members to Telegraph Creek, Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott commended the chief of the Tahltan Band and the resilience of the Tahltan community:
“It is wonderful news that families and community members will soon be able to return to Telegraph Creek following the devastation that the community experienced as a result of the wildfires this summer. Chief Rick McLean and his team have shown remarkable leadership in the face of this tragedy and our government continues to actively support the community in their recovery and rebuilding. Today’s news is another testament to the strength and resilience of the Tahltan people.”
Chief McLean spoke positively about the help of Philpott’s support.
“I also cannot say enough good things about Minister Philpott and her staff for all the support we have received from the federal government,” reads a press statement.
“We genuinely appreciate the minister’s effort to come to our territory and visit Telegraph Creek to witness the devastation first hand. It really wouldn’t have been possible to begin re-entry on Nov. 15 without our partnership with the federal government, who really stepped up to help meet our community’s needs and get our people home as soon as possible.”