To: All First Nations in British Columbia

As you know, the Province has declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires that have impacted many First Nations and communities. We know that everyone is concerned with the safety of those affected, and we want to share information that will support those communities and individuals. I have attached two documents that provide further information and useful links. We are also working on an FAQ that will be sent out shortly.

It is great to see that many communities are supporting their family, friends and other communities in their time of crisis. If your community is directly or indirectly impacted by an emergency event, your first point of contact is Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) 24 hour emergency line at 1-800-663-3456. This will allow you to report the incident and request a Task Number, which is used to track emergency incidents and costs associated with activities, including evacuations and emergency social services for your community or evacuees your community is hosting. Eligible costs will be reimbursed post-event through EMBC, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will reimburse EMBC. The attached information describes what is eligible for reimbursement.

While EMBC is the lead for coordinating response and recovery activities, the BC Wildfire Service is leading fire suppression efforts. If your community requires information regarding suppression activities, you may contact the BC Wildfire Service Information line at 1-888-336-7378.

INAC also funds the First Nations Emergency Services Society annually for wildfire prevention activities to reduce the risk of wildfire to your communities. For more information, contact FNESS at 1-888-822-3388.

First Nations have expressed concerns regarding authority over their communities during a state of emergency. When the Province issues a provincial state of emergency, regional districts may follow suit and/or issue an evacuation alert or evacuation order after consultation with EMBC. Chief and Council are responsible for the actions to be taken on reserve and are encouraged to consult and coordinate with EMBC. If a Chief and Council issues a Band Council Resolution (BCR) declaring a state of local emergency, and/or advises Band members of an evacuation alert or order, they, in consultation with EMBC, should also ensure community members are preparing to evacuate and that everyone is aware of how to register with local Reception Centres, if evacuated.

The cost of evacuating is often a concern to First Nations governments. EMBC will support First Nations governments to ensure that they know where Reception Centres are set up to receive evacuees and centre volunteers can register them for Emergency Social Services (ESS). In addition, the Canadian Red Cross is currently providing remote support for evacuated individuals and families. If you have been evacuated and do not need ESS support, please call 1-800-863-6582 to register with the Red Cross. Additionally, all impacted or evacuated individuals are eligible for Emergency Social Services support through the Province’s ESS program at EMBC to cover costs of personal items such as food and clothing, lodging, etc.

INAC is committed to supporting First Nations during the recovery phase that will follow. After the immediate danger and response is over, INAC will work with on-reserve communities to put together recovery plans. All the impacts to the community should be detailed in the recovery plan; including everything that needs rebuilding or remediation. Recovery plans are provided to EMBC to ensure consistent treatment of claims. Claims will be paid by EMBC and INAC will reimburse EMBC for the eligible costs on reserve. For items claimed that are not deemed eligible by EMBC, INAC will work with the First Nation to determine the level of additional support required.

Lastly, I want to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all the firefighters, volunteers, and front-line personnel who are helping to keep the communities safe.

Respectfully,

Catherine Lappe
Regional Director General
INAC British Columbia Region


Useful resources:

SOURCE: First Nations Health Authority (http://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/ceo-message-on-the-provincial-state-of-emergency-and-wildfires)

Helpful Emergency Resources (courtesy of FNHA)

BC Wildfire

BC Wildfire Map

Fires of Note

Road Conditions, Closures and Incidents

Drive BC

Emergency Services BC

For latest evacuation orders: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

Red Cross Support

Red Cross is providing support for evacuated individuals and families. If you have been evacuated, please call the contact centre at 1-800-863-6582 to have an agent help you register.

The registration form will ask for your basic information about you and your household, such as name, date of birth, email address and home address.

Red Cross After Hours Emergency Line

1-888-800-6493 (monitored 24/7)

Conduit for Most Needed Items

Kamloops Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PREOC)

250-371-5261 or Preoc3.ops1@gov.bc.ca

250-614-6322 or Preoc5.ops1@gov.bc.ca

Regional Health Authorities

Interior Health

www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/EmergencyPreparedness/Pages/MajorEvents.aspx

Northern Health

www.northernhealth.ca/YourHealth/HealthAlerts/EmergencyInfo-ForestFires.aspx

Hospital Evacuations Information Line

Interior Health (IH) has established a call line for families whose loved ones have been relocated from health facilities due to wildfire activity in the Cariboo and Thompson-Nicola regions. Residential care and assisted

SOURCE: First Nations Health Authority (http://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/ceo-message-on-the-provincial-state-of-emergency-and-wildfires)

living clients, and hospital patients, have been or are being moved from facilities in Ashcroft, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake. Family members can call the IH Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) for information about relocations. The toll-free number is 1-877-442-2001.

Social Media Updates

First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)

twitter.com/fnha and facebook.com/firstnationshealthauthority

Cariboo Regional District EOC

twitter.com/CaribooRD and facebook.com/pg/CRDEmergencyOperations

Thompson Nicola Regional District

twitter.com/TNRD and facebook.com/pg/thompson.nicola.regional.district

BC Wildfire

twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

Emergency BC

twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC

DriveBC

twitter.com/DriveBC

Interior Health

twitter.com/Interior_Health and facebook.com/InteriorHealth/

Information on Building Emergency Kits

www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/ build-an-emergency-kit

Information on Emergency Social Services

www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/ volunteers/emergency-social-services/services

FNHA Wildfire Smoke Health Information

www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/wildfire-smoke-health-information

www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-Wildfire-Smoke-Health-Information.pdf

FNHA Environmental Public Health Services After-hours Contact

1-844-666-0711 or ephs.afterhours@fnha.ca