Community Update – Downton Lake and Casper Creek wildfires August 26, 2023

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Bralorne Water Supply Update 

URGENT: A ‘Do Not Consume’ advisory for the Bralorne water supply is in place. It has come to the attention of the SLRD that the local water reservoir has been tampered with. The RCMP have been notified and are actively investigating. 

All Bralorne Water System users are advised that the water should not be used for drinking, making beverages, brushing teeth or food preparation. Use an alternate source of water or bottled water for the above purposes. 

For more information, visit 

Wildfire Updates 

Weather Update: Temperatures are expected to be between 20-24C with minimum relative humidities around 40%. Winds will be shifting to come from north and east directions, but ultimately may be variable due to terrain. This change to warm conditions with light winds will bring the return of smoke, limiting visibility over the weekend. 

Downton Lake Wildfire: Consistent cooler temperatures and precipitation in the area have kept fire activity low. The fire is now estimated to be 8,450 hectares in size. In the southeast flank, crews will be working to secure the fire perimeter between Gun Lake and Road 40. Structure protection crews have remained on site monitoring for spot fires around properties and maintain sprinkler systems.  

All Evacuation Orders issued by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District remain in effect.  

Casper Creek wildfire:  Activity has remained low on the Casper Creek wildfire. A reprieve in the weather has allowed some updated tracking of the fire perimeter, now estimated at 10,995 hectares in size. Crews working along Mission Mountain Road will continue holding the fire along the roadway, while also pushing containment lines between the roadway and Tsee Creek to the east. Above Tsal’alh, crews will be working on fuel removal, while heavy equipment from the local community will be continuing to reinforce the contingency guard. Structure protection crews continue integrating into the community of Tsal’alh conducting fuel mitigation.  

The Evacuation Alert and Order issued by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District remains in effect. The Tsal’alh First Nation has upgraded their Evacuation Alert to an Evacuation Order as of Aug. 20, 2023. 

Latest updates from BC Wildfire Service

The South Chilcotin Mountains Park and Rec Sites and Trails remain closed.

The following information was included in previous updates, although links to wildfire updates will contain new information.  

Emergency Support Services (ESS) 

Even if you do not have immediate needs, we recommend that all evacuees register for ESS. ESS provides short-term basic support to people impacted by disasters. The ESS program is financed by the provincial government and administered by local governments.  

Why you should register: 

  • It will help when claiming insurance 
  • Get support with emergency clothing, food vouchers and accommodations 
  • Other resources which could be useful now or in the future 

Where to register or request assistance: 

  • Online registration:  
  • Canadian Red Cross 24/7 Disaster Assistance Line: 1-888-800-6493 

In-person registration:  

Lillooet District Rec Centre 
930 Main Street – Room 101, Lillooet BC V0K 1V0 
Open: 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm Saturday, closed Sunday 
Outside of these hours call: 250-256-8524 

ESS relies on volunteers to coordinate support services for people forced from their homes in an emergency. Interested in volunteering to help, visit Emergency Support Services Volunteers. 

Returning Home After an Evacuation Order is Lifted 

SLRD has created a Returning Home Guide to help property owners re-enter an area impacted by wildfire after the Evacuation Order has been lifted. While you wait for evacuated area to be made safe for re-entry, please take time to review this guide and take pro-active steps to prepare. 

You will find the guide here: Returning Home Guide 

Please note that we are in the early days of assessing and understanding the impact of the wildfires in our region. We are working towards re-entry and recovery as quickly as possible, but our primary focus is the safety of residents and first responders. We appreciate your patience and we will lift the Evacuation Orders as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Structure Losses 

We have been advised by BC Wildfire Service that there has been impact to structures along the northwest side of Gun Lake and potentially elsewhere in the area. The SLRD will be conducting rapid damage assessments as soon as it is safe and will communicate this information directly to those affected. Both the BC Wildfire Service and the SLRD are working to ensure this rapid damage assessment happens as soon as possible. 

We will continue to update residents as we work through this process. We know it is difficult waiting and ask for continued patience as we work to identify and assess the properties damaged. Depending on wildfire behaviour, this may take some time. 

The SLRD’s steps ahead for identifying structure loss include: 

  • Step 1: The SLRD receives clearance to enter affected area from BC Wildfire Services.  
    The SLRD Emergency Operations Centre has been given clearance to enter some affected areas. 
  • Step 2: Have qualified staff complete Rapid Damage Assessments (RDAs).  
    These began on August 22, but the team had to evacuate due to wildfire activity. The RDA team will return when it’s safe. This step may take several days depending on the area and any hazards that may be associated with travel to and from affected properties. 
  • Step 3: Collect the data from RDA’s and begin to identify property owners. 
  • Step 4: Communicate with affected property owners who have lost structures, or who have damaged structures on their property. 
  • Step 5: Broader communication with public.  


While on evacuation alert or order - begin the process of contacting your insurance and familiarizing yourself with the steps you may need to take next. The SLRD has also created a Returning Home Guide which includes steps property owners can begin prior to gaining access. 

Learn more from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. 

Privacy and your personal information 

Personal information collected, used, disclosed and retained by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District for emergency purposes is done so under the authority of the FOIPP Act (section 26). Personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected or for a use consistent with that purpose unless you expressly consent otherwise. We do not disclose your information to other public bodies or individuals except as authorized by the FOIPP Act. 

Wildfire Smoke 

The best way to protect your health from wildfire smoke is to reduce your exposure to smoke and seek cleaner air: 

  • Stay indoors: Reduce time spent outdoors to protect your health. 
  • Reduce outdoor physical activity: Refer to the Air Quality Health Index and decrease physical exertion outdoors in when air quality is poor. 
  • Consider wearing a well fitted respirator if you cannot access cleaner air: Use a well fitted respirator (e.g., N95, KN95) properly to reduce exposure to particulate matter in smoke. 
  • Learn more about actions you can take to protect yourself and your family during times of poor air quality. 

Agricultural support 

Relocation of livestock for eligible farm businesses and First Nations is supported by the province during emergencies (see policy - which is not intended to address non-commercial livestock or pets.)  

Relocation can commence during an evacuation alert stage.  

The process provides for reimbursement of response costs invoiced from service providers for transportation, feed and housing. If you need assistance, please contact the SLRD’s Emergency Operations Agriculture Liaison, Leslie MacDonald at or mobile at 326-999-2945.  

Taking care of yourself and others 

Create a support network. This may include family, friends, or professionals. If you are struggling, seek or accept help.  

Speak with a counsellor at 1-866-585-0445 (Adults) or 1-888-668-6810 (youth) or  

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis or has suicide-related concerns, please call 1-833-456-4566 or visit - both are available 24/7. Text CONNECT to 686868. 

211 is a free and confidential phone service that connects people to helpful and vital resources in their community such as basic needs like food and shelter, mental health and addictions support, legal and financial support for seniors and much more. 

Calling the Telus Health Community Crisis Health Line 1-844-751-2133, available 24/7. Telus Health also offers access to a physician if you cannot access yours.  

See dangerous conditions? Leave immediately! 

A tactical evacuation may be initiated by first responders due to a sudden change in wildfire behaviour and imminent safety risk. Due to the urgency of the situation, tactical evacuations may not initially be accompanied by a written or online Evacuation Order from the SLRD. In these urgent situations, residents may receive an Evacuation Order by door-to-door notification or other means. These types of notifications still serve as a formal, legally binding Evacuation Orders. That said, the SLRD will follow-up with a written and posted Evacuation Order as soon as possible. 

A formal evacuation order is a legal process that may or may not have been preceded by a tactical evacuation. Residents receiving notice of a tactical evacuation, or a formal Evacuation Order must leave the area immediately.  

If you see dangerous conditions, do not wait for an evacuation notice. Leave immediately and get to a safe location. 

For current evacuations, see for updates: 

Loss of communications and utilities  

There has been a loss of power and communications in some areas. Residents are responsible for ensuring they can access information on the emergency through local contacts or by finding a location where they can access the internet to get updates.  

If you see down power lines, assume they are live and keep a safe distance, and report to BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376 or text *49376.  

Road closures and getting out safely 

Wildfires continue to impact roads in the area, and roads have been closed due to dangerous and unpredictable conditions. Responders in the area have noted some roads are passable one moment and extremely dangerous the next. Please respect closures and protect your safety.  

All roads within evacuation order areas are closed to public travel. 

Steep slopes affected by wildfire are vulnerable to rolling rocks and trees, impeding the safe passage of vehicles. 

Please see for information about other road closures in the region.  

Prepare your property 

You have a responsibility to prepare your property for wildfire. Move flammable objects away from structures. Clean debris from roofs and gutters. Close your windows.  

Learn more about what you can do:  

Ways to stay informed 

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