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Canada Task Force 1 arrives in Shuswap to assess fire-damaged homes

The search and rescue team will provide an ‘initial understanding’ of the impacted homes’ state
Image of the Bush Creek East wildfire. (Cory Erlandson)

As wildfires continue to burn in the Shuswap, a Vancouver-based search and rescue team has arrived to assess the damage.

Canada Task Force 1 has spent the last few days assessing structural damages due to the Bush Creek wildfire, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said Friday, Aug. 25.

“Active wildfires are still burning in the CSRD,” a statement reads. “As we gather more information, we will be able to provide a more complete assessment of the affected areas.”

The search and rescue team specializes in structural assessments and responds to requests from provinces and territories, generally after disasters like flooding or wildfires.

The CSRD says the team will provide “an initial understanding” of the state of homes and properties impacted by the blaze.

Earlier in the week, they were tasked to do the same in the Central Okanagan.

The Bush Creek wildfire remains out of control and is mapped at more than 41,000 hectares in size.

It is currently being responded to in a number of different areas.

A total of 131 properties in the CSRD have been reported lost and an additional 37 have been partially damaged, the region says.

“We are in this together and empathize with you during this difficult time,” the CSRD said in a Friday night update. “Be cautioned that residents learning of the state of their property may feel immense emotions and experience psychological and emotional impacts.”

Canada Task Force 1 says they are totally self-sufficient and provide their own base of operations, accommodations, medical facilities, food, water, power, communications, and equipment.

Members consist of staff from Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, Vancouver Police Department, City of Vancouver and BCEHS, among others.

READ MORE: Supplies going to North Shuswap, BCWS crews continue to work in priority areas