In early August 2018 the massive Alkali Lake wildfire ripped through the Tahltan Nation community of Telegraph Creek. The fire burned over 120,000 hectares of forest, taking much of the community with it.
The 300 residents of Telegraph Creek were rapidly evacuated as the fire aggressively advanced on their homes. Twenty-seven structures were lost, including 21 houses, two businesses, a church, and a childcare center. Any building still standing and the many personal possessions left behind by the fleeing residents were damaged by smoke, fire, and water.
The community infrastructure sustained massive damage. Power lines and telephone lines and poles have needed replacing. Drinking water and septic facilities were destroyed. The trees anchoring the steep slopes of the community and its only access road were burned creating landslide and slope failure hazards. Outside the community itself more than 133 structures were burned. These include cabins and cottages, historical sites, grave sites, and the fish camps that support the Tahltan Nation.
Please help rebuild this devastated community and donate here
After a tour this past October, Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services; Jane Philpott, declared that “The Tahltan Nation itself incurred the worst structural damage caused by wildfires of any First Nations community in recorded Canadian history.”
The town site and the access road were declared unsafe by authorities. Following extensive clean up and safety review, the road and town site were re-opened in late October 2018. Community members are now beginning to return home to begin rebuilding their community.
There is long road ahead and this community needs your support.
The Telegraph Creek Rebuilding fundraising drive is helping the residents of Telegraph Creek regain their community and what was lost in the fires. Funds are being used to help community members:
replace tools, materials, and machines that are needed to support rebuilding and livelihood;
replace household contents (furniture, appliances) that is not covered by insurance; and
restore public spaces and landscaping destroyed by fire.
The funds collected are being directed to the Tahltan Band in Telegraph Creek. We thank-you so much for your contribution to this cause. With your help, our community will rise again.
Click here for more information and photos of our rebuilding efforts