News

Recreation sites and trails in the Eastern Cariboo re-opened for public use

August 24th, 2017, News

From our friends at Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development – see the media release here. 

Due to improving weather conditions and fire suppression, Recreation Sites and Trails BC — in consultation with the BC Wildfire Service — will re-open select recreation sites and recreation trails within the Cariboo Fire Centre at 12 noon on Aug. 25, 2017.

Until further notice, the following recreation sites and trails will remain closed:

  • all sites and trails west of the Fraser River, except for certain sites and trails northwest of Quesnel;
  • all sites and trails south of Highway 24 in the Interlakes area; and
  • all sites and trails within (or accessed through) wildfire closure areas or evacuation order and alert zones.
  • Recreation sites and trails within the declared title lands of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation (Xeni Gwet’in caretaker area) also remain closed.

For a complete list of closed recreation sites and trails, please visit: www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/closures.aspx

Hazards may exist in some locations because of fire damage and because maintenance has not been possible for most of the summer. Visitors are advised to be alert for damaged facilities, fallen trees or other hazards.

Recreation Sites and Trails BC and the BC Wildfire Service are asking the public to remain vigilant and help prevent human-caused wildfires. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555, toll-free.

A campfire ban remains in effect throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. For details on current open burning prohibitions, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirebans

  • For general information about recreation sites and trails, please visit the Recreation Sites and Trails BC website: www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca
  • For information about areas under evacuation orders and alerts, please visit the Cariboo Regional District website: http://www.cariboord.bc.ca/
  • For the latest information on wildfire activity, conditions and prohibitions, please visit the BC Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca
  • For information about access to the declared title lands of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, please visit the Tsilhqot’in National Government website:  www.tsilhqotin.ca/

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

Backcountry restrictions in Cariboo now limited to active fires

August 24th, 2017, News

WILLIAMS LAKE – Effective at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, the general backcountry closure for the Cariboo Fire Centre was rescinded due to decreased wildfire risk. Members of the public can once again access the majority of Crown land within the Cariboo Fire Centre.

A series of smaller area restrictions are now in place around some active wildfires to help protect public safety and allow fire suppression efforts to continue efficiently. In order for firefighting activities to continue safely and effectively, the public must stay clear of these operations.

People heading into the backcountry are reminded to remain vigilant and exercise caution. A campfire ban remains in effect and the off-road vehicle prohibition that was implemented throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction on Aug. 4, 2017 is still in effect. For more information, please visit: http://ow.ly/LVRt30eCGlM

The revised area restrictions are in place to help ensure public safety while minimizing their potential impact on recreational activities throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre.

The area restriction order applies to all Crown land within the geographic boundaries as outlined on the associated maps, but it does not include the foreshore or Crown land covered by water (i.e. public use of lakes and rivers that are not under an evacuation order is not restricted). The area restriction order also does not include private land, garbage dumps and transfer stations.

The following area restrictions will remain in effect until noon on Oct. 31, 2017 or until the area restriction order is otherwise rescinded.

a) two area restrictions apply to Crown land within the perimeter of and within 10 kilometres immediately beyond the perimeters of the Hanceville-Riske Creek Fire (C50647) and the Plateau Complex Fire (C10784, C10970 and C10966), formerly known separately as the Chezacut, Tautri, Bishop’s Bluff, Baezaeko, Wentworth Creek, Arc Mountain and other fires

b) one area restriction applies to Crown land within the perimeter of and within 5 kilometres immediately beyond the perimeter of the Colwell Lake/Kleena Kleene Fires (C50744 and C50934)

c) nine area restrictions apply to Crown land within the perimeters of the following fires:

Precipice (VA0778)
Gustafson (C40621)
Big Lake/Gavin Lake (C30870, C31005, C30887, C20906, C20894)
Castle Rock/Twan Lake South (C10740)
Quesnel Lake (C31008, C31169, C31156, C31348, C31161, C31306, C31489)
Swift River (C31072)
White Lake, Wildwood, Spokin Lake, Soda Creek (C20735, C20729, C20738, C20645)
Green Mountain (C10683)
Canim Lake (C41703, C41707)

Detailed maps to help the public locate these fire perimeters and the 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre buffer zones are available online at: http://ow.ly/Qe6w30eDreQ

For more information about the existing Elephant Hill area restriction, please visit: http://ow.ly/F1dT30eDthX

Under this area restriction order and the Wildfire Act, a person must not remain in or enter these restricted areas without the prior written authorization, unless the person enters the area only in the course of:

  1. travelling to or from his or her residence that is not under an evacuation order;
  2. using a highway as defined in the Transportation Act,
  3. travelling as a person acting in an official capacity; and
  4. travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities.

Evacuation orders and evacuation alerts issued by the Cariboo Regional District remain in place. For more information about these alerts and orders, please visit: http://ow.ly/9laX30ekdew

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake (near Clinton) in the south to the Cottonwood River (near Quesnel) in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Media Contact:

Rachel Witt
Fire Information Officer
BC Wildfire Service
Cariboo Fire Centre
778 799-2101

See this media release online here.

Fires affecting some but not all tourism businesses

August 3rd, 2017, News

On behalf of the tourism industry in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and our board of directors, we thank the fire crews, staff, volunteers and people who have come together to support the safety of our people, businesses and communities.

We are extremely proud of our staff and the tourism business owners in our region – they are resourceful, innovative and resilient. During these challenging times they continue to rise above and beyond, providing outstanding levels of service, to visitors and crews.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is working to assist those communities and businesses impacted by the wildfires, as well as those who remain open for business and are welcoming guests. If you have a reservation, don’t be hesitant; call your resort and ‘Know Before You Go’.

We realize that some travellers had planned to visit areas in the impacted zones, and we understand you are disappointed. We invite you back to visit this fall or next year, because these are truly bucket-list destinations. Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism businesses need your support, and to see future bookings coming in will offer great hope to those families facing a poor 2017 summer season.

If you have witnessed a tourism business or owner going above and beyond please let us know as we continue to share the amazing strength, kindness and humanity being shown by the people of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.

As we head into the long weekend, the tourism industry and your neighbours are asking for your help. Many parts of British Columbia remain in a state of high fire risk – we need everyone to remain vigilant. Enjoy your long weekend responsibly – do not hinder the efforts of our wildfire teams or emergency personnel, comply with any orders and let’s have no new human-caused fires!

A reminder from Recreation Sites & Trails BC:

“In an effort to protect public safety, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations has closed ALL Recreation Sites and Trails in the Cariboo Fire Center.  This closure will remain in effect until further notice.

Recreationalists are encouraged to avoid travelling in the backcountry in areas of active wildfires or where the fire danger rating is high to extreme.  Given the current fire danger ratings and number of active wildfires, further restrictions may be considered if people do not stay out of the backcountry.”

For more information on the current closures of recreation sites and trails visit:http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/recreation/camping-hiking/sites-trails

In closing please share the ‘Know Before You Go’ message – check with official emergency sources to obtain the accurate information and contact our tourism professionals directly. Help keep us all safe this August long weekend.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit: www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

 

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Fishing, riding and rafting ready for guests British Columbians invited to explore the Cariboo

July 31st, 2017, News

The wildfire news has been overwhelming, and while British Columbians love our province overall, we (at Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism) wonder – does the rest of BC know what they’re missing?

The rainbow trout are biting!

BC’s Highway 24 has been in the news as an evacuation route. But, do most BC residents know that it is known as the “Fishing Highway”?  Highway 24 is a scenic paved road that winds through the Interlakes area between Highway 97 on the west and Highway 5 (at Little Fort) on the east. Weaving through aspen forests past dozens of serene lakes, this region is known by anglers for its rainbow trout and laid back lake lifestyle. Sheridan Lake is one of the largest in the area, a 1659-hectare, spring-fed lake, with miles of shoreline and shoals. It is stocked with multiple strains of trout, and regularly produces trophy size rainbow trout. Sheridan Lake Resort and Loon Bay Resort are just two of the Sheridan’s relaxing resorts, with combinations of cabins and camping facilities.   www.sheridanlakeresort.com   http://loonbayresort.com

Along Highway 24, other place and resort names, like Fawn Lake Resort and Moosehaven Resort, give an idea of the abundance of wildlife in the area. Family friendly is the norm, and most resorts are pet friendly as well. Cariboo Bonanza Resort has a zip-line and bicycle obstacle course for kids, as well as a fort and archery lessons. Moosehaven, however, has a no-pets rule, to enhance the bird and wildlife sightings around the property. www.fawnlakeresort.com   http://moosehavenresort.com    www.cariboobonanza.com

Improve your horsemanship skills.

When old-timers talk about the Cariboo region of BC, Gold Rush and cowboys come up, and they are not far off!  While visiting historic sites may not be everyone’s cup of tea, learning or improving skills, make great memories, and challenge both brain and body. Guest ranch experiences not only teach skills, they use new muscles, expose guests to a different pace of life and the timelessness of four-footed transportation. This all adds up to amazing memories – especially for the kids. Many ranches customize the experience to their guests, and can offer add-ons that only locals know about.

After tuning up your riding skills, Beaver Guest Ranch can arrange white-water rafting and tours for guests. Spring Lake Guest Ranch is surrounded by 10,000 acres of rolling hills, and is a working cattle operation. Guests can participate in farm life, or kick back and enjoy the ranch. www.beaverguestranch.com www.springlakeranch.com

Some of the guest ranches are on historical properties. Big Bar Guest Ranch uses an original 1936 owner’s building as its games room, fireside lounge and meeting area.  The ranch hand package includes accommodation and daily meals. Kayanara Ranch also offers weekly packages including accommodations and daily outings throughout the region, so guest do not need to do the planning! www.bigbarranch.com  www.kayanara.com

Raft the rivers

Float along the mellow Lower Quesnel River, or get some thrills on the upper section, with Big Canyon Rafting. Daytime floats for ages 10 and up, ending in downtown Quesnel are a popular family activity.  Adults and corporate groups take on the Class IV white-water of the Upper Quesnel River, or double-head by including a run down the Caribou River.  www.bigcanyonrafting.com

“We encourage you to come and visit,” says Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism CEO, Amy Thacker. “Our tourism operators excel at hospitality and welcome your business. The biggest help you can give right now is to book a BC vacation.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

 

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

 

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Cache Creek’s “Wonder Women” feed & fuel firefighters

July 27th, 2017, News

July 27, 2017

A group of Cache Creek women began feeding the Cache Creek Fire Department when the Elephant Hill fire broke out. Soon, though, the group of five women – dubbed the Wonder Women – were feeding ambulance and RCMP personnel, BC Wildfire staff and visiting fire departments, which were arriving in droves.

Initially, Cache Creek Husky and the local Tim Horton’s donated the food out of their restaurants, allowing the women to concentrate on feeding hungry crews. The Ashcroft Legion also helped fill the void until the Village of Cache Creek’s Chief Administrative Officer, Keir Gervais, found funding and brought in groceries from Kamloops.

Sue Peters is one of the five Wonder Women.

“I wasn’t alone in it,” says Peters.  She credits the other four women for keeping the kitchen running after the first few days – Christine Elliot, Shelby Doerksen, Donna Brezina and the master of the kitchen, Geninne Fitzgerald. Peters, who is also owner of Cache Creek Husky, found she was needed to fuel up firefighting equipment, and was taking emergency calls 24 hours a day to get the vehicles filled and back to work.

“We met so many amazing men and women, from those fire departments”, said Peters. “They couldn’t believe that we could cook for so many people, and said it would never happen in the city.”

Now that Cache Creek residents have returned to the area, and Peters and staff have thoroughly cleaned everything in the business, she hopes that things will start to get back to normal. Highway 97 has just opened up to traffic, and summer is their busy season. “We are a strong little community, and we’re stronger than ever.” she says. “Come and visit – we need you more than ever.”

“Good news has continued this week with more businesses and communities returning home in the Williams Lake area and Highway 97 opening to traffic,” said, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association CEO, Amy Thacker. “I echo Sue and encourage visitors to come support our communities by visiting in person – they want to welcome you!” Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism operators remind all travellers that conditions continue to be hot and dry, requesting visitors remain diligent through the remainder of the summer season.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism is seeking stories of our industry; if you have experienced an operator who has gone above and beyond please let us know.

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit: www.landwithoutlimits.com

 

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

 

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Fircrest RV Resort assists before, during, after evacuation Alert-area resort offers haven

July 26th, 2017, News

July 26, 2017

When 108 Mile Ranch and 105 Mile House were first evacuated, Fircrest RV Resort, on nearby Lac La Hache, offered people with trailers or RVs a free place to stay close to home, but out of harm’s way. Fircrest was in an evacuation Alert area, but managers Adam and Nancy Ragan were ready to go if an Order came through.

During the first days of the fire, “People had nowhere to go. We were here, and we felt safe, so told them to stick around for the meantime.” says Adam Ragan. “We kept each other company and sat back and waited.”

The resort posted fire news and positive updates to their Facebook page, while waiting the fires out, and welcomed back returning area evacuees with an offer.

The Ragans have offered returning evacuees a home-away-from-home if they time to clean up their homes, or have no home left to return to. While Fircrest isn’t supplying RVs or trailers, Ragans want to offer their neighbors a place to park theirs – for free, while they get their homes and lives back to normal.

“It might be a mess”, he adds. “If homes are damaged or need cleaning, we want to give people a place to come while they sort things out.”

“As our businesses and communities begin to return home it is great to see the spirit of helping one another continue throughout our tourism industry,” said, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association CEO, Amy Thacker. “We are pleased to be able to share that highways are opening. Heritage sites are opening and our businesses are able to continue to offer the amazing hospitality and experiences the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is known for.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism is seeking stories of our industry; if you have experienced an operator who has gone above and beyond please let us know.

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

 

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

 

Fircrest RV Resort

Lac La Hache

1-844-396-4400

Statement from Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

July 21st, 2017, News

Fire impacts felt but not measured yet

July 21, 2017

As we complete the second week of significant impacts to the tourism industry as a result of fires, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association board of directors acknowledges the wide-spread support of so many, both in our industry and as volunteers.

While wildfires continue to threaten several parts of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism region, others, such as the Village of Cache Creek, saw residents return to their homes and businesses this week. The Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy1) is now open to regular traffic and the tourism businesses of Cache Creek and Ashcroft welcome you to show your support by booking a visit. In addition, authorities have opened Highway 97N from Cache Creek to Highway 24 and Highway 99 to Lillooet.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association continues to work to assist those communities and businesses impacted by the wildfires, and those who remain open for business and are welcoming guests. If you have a reservation, don’t be hesitant; call your resort to find out if they are operating and ‘Know before you go’.

“Our office has heard from resorts at Quesnel Lake, in our world-renowned interior rainforest, that they are having a very ‘usual’ summer with exceptional wildlife viewing – but very few guests,” said Amy Thacker, CEO for Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. “Ranches and fishing resorts along the “Fishing Highway 24” and the Interlakes area have also reported few visitors but great days on the lakes and trails.” 

We realise that some travelers planned to visit areas in the impacted zones, and we understand the disappointment. We invite them back to visit those areas this fall or next year, because many are truly bucket-list destinations. The tourism businesses will continue to need support, and to see future bookings coming in would be a great start.

While much of our team is evacuated and our office remains closed, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association continues to work with tourism businesses throughout our region to address any needs that arise.

As we begin planning for the future, we are working with government and partners to determine the extent of the tourism business impact due to wildfire. Our latest estimates indicate that approximately 436 tourism businesses are under an evacuation order or alert within our tourism region.

While we do not have an estimate in terms of business loss or revenue loss, we have begun to ask our businesses and communities to share that information, and are preparing for return to home for more of our communities and businesses.

As of July 21, 2017 (Source BC Wildfire Stats)

  • Total BC wildfires to-date: 718
  • Total BC area burned in HA to-date: 410,203
  • 16 wildfire areas of note in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast (CCC)
  • Approximately 319,100 HA burned to-date in the CCC (78% of total provincial figure)
  • CCC area burned approximately 2.7% of total CCC region

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

 

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Outpouring of support for evacuees

July 21st, 2017, News

Events and fundraisers organized by daycares to corporations

July 20, 2017 – For Immediate Release 

While the fires still burn in some parts of our region, we are grateful to the many people, paid and unpaid, who are helping fight fires and assist evacuees with their needs and their animals. We encourage evacuees to take part in events put on for their benefit – many want to show that they care. Here are some – of many – events and activities, as well as some major fundraising news.

Evacuee events:

Kamloops, July 21: Tailgate Party & Fundraiser. All proceeds to the Red Cross, this is an evacuee & volunteer BBQ.  11am-5pm at the Sahali Mall, with live music. www.facebook.com/bcwildheart

Quesnel, July 21 and 26: Big Canyon Rafting, special rafting trips for evacuees. Free for kids and $20 for adults.   Details at:

Visit this link for more info.

Kamloops, July 23: SportChek Kamloops Marathon Wildfire Evacuee and Volunteer Pancake Breakfast at MacArthur Island – 8:00am. The marathon is cancelled due to air quality concerns, but organizers decided to support their neighbours, instead!

Free Events in Prince George:

Thursdays, year round – Two Rivers Gallery

Saturday, July 22 – Zumba in the Plaza – in front of City Hall at 10:00am

Sundays in summer – Yoga in the Park – L’Heidl Tenneh Park at 10:00am

Free events in Kamloops:

Daily Music in the Park – daily  www.kamloops.ca/events/musicinthepark.shtml#.WXEG84Tyu4T

Kamloops Art Gallery is offering evacuees free admission to the gallery for the summer.

There are a multitude of offers being tracked by Kamloops this Week. Check them out at:  www.kamloopsthisweek.com/helpfirevictims/

All YMCAs are opening their doors to people impacted by the wildfires burning across B.C. The YMCA has 12 locations in Prince George, Kamloops, Victoria, Kelowna and the Lower Mainland.

Fundraisers:

BCStrong: Graphic designer Becky Dochstader created the BCStrong design, which has been adopted to show support for British Columbians and support fundraising efforts. BC Strong t-shirts are available at Custom Stitch in Prince George, by donation   www.facebook.com/groups/PrinceGeorgeFireEvacueeInformation/permalink/738793122973849/?pnref=story.unseen-section  The popular decals, prepared by Signtek Industries in Prince George, have raised over $8500 in less than a week, with proceeds going to Red Cross.

Kamloops, August 4 & 5: Rock for Relief – Let’s Band Together – Blue Grotto Nightclub, Kamloops, 5 bands. All cover charges for 2 nights donated. Owners were evacuees in past, want to help www.facebook.com/events/969002583461858/

Donations with heart:

The children at the Montessori Child Care Centre in downtown Prince George held their own fundraiser. The kids raised $500 in one day with their lemonade stand.

Northland Auto Group in Prince George, with their parent company, AutoCanada, has pledged a $25,000 donation to the Red Cross.

Teck is donating up to $75,000 to support emergency relief efforts for local communities affected by the wildfires in the British Columbia Interior. $50,000 is pledged to agencies providing relief services and up to $25,000 to match donations by Teck employees.

On behalf of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association board of directors and industry, we thank the volunteers and host communities for their endless outpouring of support. This is what makes Canada and British Columbia so special, the amazing people, the size of their hearts and love of their home.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Williams Lake business owners stay behind to help fire crews

July 21st, 2017, News

Appreciation fuels restaurant and gas station owners

Vic Sharman’s sense of appreciation and responsibility for firefighters made him stay behind when Williams Lake was evacuated on the evening of July 15.

“These guys are saving our town,” Sharman said. “I thought we were responsible to make sure that they got good coffee and some food.”

Sharman, his wife, Lyda and son Alek, along with two staff and two volunteers are currently operating the Williams Lake Tim Horton’s sixteen hours a day, helping keep work crews fed and watered as they work physically demanding jobs protecting Williams Lake from nearby fires. Supplies are able to get in, allowing the restaurant to stay open.

“It’s rewarding to help someone” says Lyda Sharman. “They are so hungry when they get off shift.”

Nearby, CJ’s Southwestern Grill restaurant owner Cathie Rossignol and helpers have prepared up to 1,600 meals a day for people on the front lines. In addition to feeding fire departments and the Emergency Operations Centre, Rossignol keeps the restaurant doors open for walk ins. She expects things will slow down, as camps are being set up for the fire departments.

Fuel and other essentials are being allowed through closed highways.

Canwest Propane/Sun Valley Petroleum in Williams Lake remains open. “Fire, police and ambulance services are doing a great job.” says owner Scott Nelson. “It’s important to help the community and provide the goods and service needed.”

According to Nelson, other businesses in Williams Lake still operating to support fire efforts include Tasco Supplies and Chuck’s Auto Supply.

“Our tourism industry, residents and the countless helpers have shown one thing – we stand together. We continue to hear daily examples of extreme hospitality from individuals and businesses who have thrown open their doors without hesitation to help one another,” said Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association board chair Andre Kuerbis.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism encourages visitors to continue to ‘Know Before you Go’ by checking official sources of information and speaking with the tourism businesses directly. Highway 1 through Cache Creek is now open to regular traffic, with residents and tourism operators able to safely return home and Highway 97 is open from the north to Quesnel, Barkerville and Likely where the lush interior Rainforest is awaiting you.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438

Transportation partners offering evacuee assistance in BC fires

July 18th, 2017, News

Flight, ferry and mobile phone offers for evacuees

Transportation providers have stepped up to help evacuees, both with allowing changes on reservations and providing travel discounts. We have put together a list of current offers, but please note that while some offers have an end date, they may be extended. Follow each offer’s specific link to check the current dates and parameters. With airlines, it is important to enter any Coupon or Promo Code at the beginning of your online flight search, to see the special rates.

Williams Lake Airport is currently closed to commercial airlines, and anyone holding a ticket is encouraged to contact their airline. Also, note that some of the language in the airline offers do not yet reflect this closure.

Airlines:

Westjet is offering 50% off base fares between Prince George and anywhere in Canada or the U.S., and 25% off base fares between Kelowna, Penticton or Kamloops, and anywhere in Canada or the U.S. Walk-up booking are included as well. Book by: July 19, 2017 (9:59 p.m. MT) and travel from: July 9-31, 2017  Details at:  www.westjet.com/en-ca/lowfaresandmore/discount-codes/1?p=1&discount=WBYFWWN&sm_cid=social:discount-code:yxs50:twitter

Westjet coupon code: WBYFWWN          Promo code: WNQ34 (not required on westjet.com)

Also, WestJet will waive change and cancellation fees for existing bookings made on or before July 9, 2017 for travel until July 31, 2017. Waiving of change and cancellation fees applies to all fare classes to/from Prince George, Kelowna, Penticton or Kamloops to anywhere in Canada and the U.S.

Air Canada is offering a 25 percent discount on flights between now and July 22 from Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Prince George, and Williams Lake to any destination in North America. www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates.html#/caus-20170709

Air Canada promotion code: A3VRZAR1 or call Air Canada Reservations at 1-888-247-2262

In addition, Air Canada will allow free changes to be made for passengers flying to, from, or via the affected areas between now and July 22.

Central Mountain Air is providing a 30% discount to travel from Williams Lake or Quesnel to Vancouver, or from Prince George to Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary as a result of the state of emergency. Book by July 18, 2017 at 23:59 PST for travel until July 29, 2017. Full details at https://flycma.com/forest-fires-affecting-british-columbia/

Central Mountain Air promo code: BC17

Central Mountain Air will waive change fees or fare differences for travel to/from Williams Lake (YWL) between now and July 29.

Pacific Coastal Airlines is offering a discount of 30% for evacuees until July 18 (date may be extended). For the up-to-date offer, see: www.pacificcoastal.com/special-discount-2017/

For those affected by the fires, Pacific Coastal is waiving change and cancellation fees, as well as fare differences, for travel until July 29.

Other transportation:

BC Ferries is assisting residents evacuating from wildfires complimentary (free) prearranged travel support. Evacuees from officially evacuated areas only are asked to contact them by phone at 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779). Free travel cannot be granted at the terminal ticket booths – it must be arranged in advance.

www.bcferries.com/about/bc-wildfire-support.html?utm_campaign=wildfires&utm_medium=web&utm_source=bcfhome

You might also want to know:

Mobile phone carriers Telus, Rogers, Koodo, Chatr and Fido will waive domestic voice, text and data overages until July 21. Most will be in the form of a future bill credit.  Bell customers are asked to contact 310-Bell to find out what Bell will do to assist. Some extensions have been requested.

Despite this challenging time for our Cariboo Chilcotin residents and communities, the regional and provincial tourism industry continues to shine with a proactive engagement in the ultimate of hospitality – helping people when they need it most. “The overwhelming support throughout the region shows that tourism is not only a key industry but a family. I’m so proud and thankful and want to extend my appreciation to each and every one that is looking after friends, neighbors, colleagues and the countless helpers,” Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association board chair, Andre Kuerbis said. “I also want to give big kudos to our incredible staff that is working tireless from across the region.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

 

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438