Downton Lake 2023 Wildfire Recovery

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Wildfire Recovery

To support Gun Lake area residents affected by the Downton Lake wildfire, the SLRD has formed an internal recovery committee. Our goal is to assist you through the recovery process, which can be challenging and complex.

To connect with the Recovery team, email recovery@slrd.bc.ca

The Downton Lake wildfire recovery site has been developed to serve as a hub of information and resources to help residents navigate the recovery process. Here, we will share relevant information, including SLRD updates, results of our advocacy efforts and wildfire recovery news. We will continue to research and share links to resources that may be helpful through this process.

We are committed to continuing to collaborate with the various agencies and levels of government involved in recovery and advocating on behalf of our residents who have been affected. Our staff is available to answer questions about the recovery process, including cleanup, and the rebuilding process.

You can find a list of SLRD recovery contacts available to help on the right side of this page in the Your Recovery Team section. As you review the content and files on this page – relevant department contacts are noted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) are featured on the right side of this page and will get updated as new questions are raised and more information becomes available.

Those that opt to subscribe or 'Stay Informed' to this page, will be notified of updates.


Latest Updates:

NEW: Upcoming Virtual Town Hall

The SLRD will host a virtual town hall event on Wednesday, May 29 for residents affected by the 2023 wildfire season. This event is intended for residents directly directly affected by the 2023 wildfire season, with property loss or damage due to wildfire:

This event is an opportunity for the SLRD to provide an update and for those affected to ask questions directly to the SLRD and representatives from some provincial ministries, including the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness and the Ministry of Forests. We encourage residents to submit questions prior to the virtual town hall, to allow for time for us to compile the information. Please submit questions to: recovery@slrd.bc.ca

Please note that the Q&A documents, from the April 3 and 4 virtual town hall events hosted by the Province of BC are available below. Please review these documents prior to the upcoming town hall event.

April 3 and 4 Town Hall Q&A documents:


April 30, 2024

The SLRD is pleased to share that the fees and load limits for scrap metal at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station will be waived for Gun Lake area residents affected by the 2023 wildfire season.

From now until August 31, 2024, to assist in the cleanup process, there will be no tipping fees or load limits for this debris collected at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station. This will be reviewed and reassessed on an ongoing basis, with further adjustments made as required.

All other regulations still apply, including:

    • Roll-off bins are not accepted at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station.
    • The asbestos declaration and acknowledgement form must be completed and submitted, along with the Hazardous Material Survey Report (to be completed by your licensed contractor) to the SLRD by email (utilities@slrd.bc.ca). Completed forms must be reviewed and signed by the SLRD prior to any burned debris disposal. The SLRD is committed to completing this process as quickly as possible.
    • Metal must be clean; no asbestos or lead paint will be accepted.
    • Debris must be free of dust or ashes.
    • Wires must be bundled.

More information about Asbestos Management can be found here.


REMINDER: Cost of building permits reduced for wildfire-affected properties

The SLRD amended its building bylaw to include a clause to allow for reduced building permit costs for reconstruction of property damaged in an event declared a provincial or local emergency.

This applies to properties affected by the 2023 wildfire season and applies to all emergencies in the SLRD going forward.

The new policy will reduce the cost of applying for a building permit to rebuild in affected areas (and only for assessed damage linked to the emergency) by 30 per cent within a three-year window of the emergency being declared, whether on a provincial or local level. The reduction in fees is limited to documented damaged as assessed.


April 23, 2024: The April 22, 2024 Gun Lake Water Quality Sampling Report from Stantec Consulting is now available.

Gun Lake Water Quality Sampling Report

Questions regarding information contained in this report can be directed to:

Mark Phillips,
SLRD Director of Protective Services
mphillips@slrd.bc.ca

UPDATED: May 21. 2024

The Province of British Columbia has provided additional information regarding the water quality sampling at Gun Lake. The Provincial overview document is available here.


April 18, 2024: April 3 and 4, 2024 Casper Creek and Downton Lake Town Hall Follow-up

The SLRD would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the Casper Creek and Downton Lake Town Halls on April 3 and 4, 2024.

The recordings from the virtual events are now available:

March 26, 2024: Recovery Update Email sent to residents

'To support Gun Lake area residents affected by the Downton Lake wildfire, we formed an internal recovery committee with the goal of assisting residents through the recovery process. Since September, we've actively raised recovery issues and advocated for your needs and concerns with various provincial ministries and agencies. Our ongoing communication and collaboration efforts aim to address the various and complicated challenges posed by the wildfire and its aftermath.' Read the complete update.



View the following Clean up and Rebuilding graphic to help navigate the process:



1. CLEAN UP: Debris and Waste Management

Wildfire recovery brings with it many unique and challenging disposal issues. The recovery process starts with clean up - which can be unique for each property owner. Take steps to prepare and plan for removal of debris and waste as a result of wildfire.

View our CLEAN UP: Debris and Waste Management guide to help with the process.

Contact for questions about wildfire debris disposal:

Environmental Services Department
Phone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 292 | Email: utilities@slrd.bc.ca



2. REBUILDING: Planning and Permits

The SLRD manages the zoning and permitting process for new construction projects in the region, including projects related to wildfire loss and damage. Planners and building officials are available to review your rebuilding ideas and guide you through regulations and requirements specific to your plans.

View our recovery guide related to REBUILDING: Planning and Permits.

Contacts for questions about rebuilding and permits:

Building Permit Applications and Inquiries about Rebuilding
Phone: (604) 894-6371 | Email: bldgofficial@slrd.bc.ca

Applications related to riparian or wildfire development permit areas, contact the Planning Department
Phone: (604) 894-6371 | Email: planning@slrd.bc.ca



3. Utilities Support


For questions related to utilities, contact your provider directly. For private water systems contact your provider or the contractor who regularly services your system. The following is a list of contacts for the Downton Lake Wildfire impacted area:

  • BC Hydro call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) or FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847
  • For underground service inquiries before you dig: BC 1 Call or call 1-800-474- 6886
  • Fortis BC: Natural gas: 1-888-224-2710 or Electricity: 1-866-436-7847
  • Rogers/Shaw: Toll-free: 1-888-472-2222
  • TELUS Mobility: *611 on your TELUS mobile phone or call 1-866-558-2273
  • TELUS Internet: Toll-free call 1-888-811-2323


4. Additional contacts


Reminder to SUBSCRIBE to:

Wildfire Recovery

To support Gun Lake area residents affected by the Downton Lake wildfire, the SLRD has formed an internal recovery committee. Our goal is to assist you through the recovery process, which can be challenging and complex.

To connect with the Recovery team, email recovery@slrd.bc.ca

The Downton Lake wildfire recovery site has been developed to serve as a hub of information and resources to help residents navigate the recovery process. Here, we will share relevant information, including SLRD updates, results of our advocacy efforts and wildfire recovery news. We will continue to research and share links to resources that may be helpful through this process.

We are committed to continuing to collaborate with the various agencies and levels of government involved in recovery and advocating on behalf of our residents who have been affected. Our staff is available to answer questions about the recovery process, including cleanup, and the rebuilding process.

You can find a list of SLRD recovery contacts available to help on the right side of this page in the Your Recovery Team section. As you review the content and files on this page – relevant department contacts are noted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) are featured on the right side of this page and will get updated as new questions are raised and more information becomes available.

Those that opt to subscribe or 'Stay Informed' to this page, will be notified of updates.


Latest Updates:

NEW: Upcoming Virtual Town Hall

The SLRD will host a virtual town hall event on Wednesday, May 29 for residents affected by the 2023 wildfire season. This event is intended for residents directly directly affected by the 2023 wildfire season, with property loss or damage due to wildfire:

This event is an opportunity for the SLRD to provide an update and for those affected to ask questions directly to the SLRD and representatives from some provincial ministries, including the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness and the Ministry of Forests. We encourage residents to submit questions prior to the virtual town hall, to allow for time for us to compile the information. Please submit questions to: recovery@slrd.bc.ca

Please note that the Q&A documents, from the April 3 and 4 virtual town hall events hosted by the Province of BC are available below. Please review these documents prior to the upcoming town hall event.

April 3 and 4 Town Hall Q&A documents:


April 30, 2024

The SLRD is pleased to share that the fees and load limits for scrap metal at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station will be waived for Gun Lake area residents affected by the 2023 wildfire season.

From now until August 31, 2024, to assist in the cleanup process, there will be no tipping fees or load limits for this debris collected at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station. This will be reviewed and reassessed on an ongoing basis, with further adjustments made as required.

All other regulations still apply, including:

    • Roll-off bins are not accepted at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station.
    • The asbestos declaration and acknowledgement form must be completed and submitted, along with the Hazardous Material Survey Report (to be completed by your licensed contractor) to the SLRD by email (utilities@slrd.bc.ca). Completed forms must be reviewed and signed by the SLRD prior to any burned debris disposal. The SLRD is committed to completing this process as quickly as possible.
    • Metal must be clean; no asbestos or lead paint will be accepted.
    • Debris must be free of dust or ashes.
    • Wires must be bundled.

More information about Asbestos Management can be found here.


REMINDER: Cost of building permits reduced for wildfire-affected properties

The SLRD amended its building bylaw to include a clause to allow for reduced building permit costs for reconstruction of property damaged in an event declared a provincial or local emergency.

This applies to properties affected by the 2023 wildfire season and applies to all emergencies in the SLRD going forward.

The new policy will reduce the cost of applying for a building permit to rebuild in affected areas (and only for assessed damage linked to the emergency) by 30 per cent within a three-year window of the emergency being declared, whether on a provincial or local level. The reduction in fees is limited to documented damaged as assessed.


April 23, 2024: The April 22, 2024 Gun Lake Water Quality Sampling Report from Stantec Consulting is now available.

Gun Lake Water Quality Sampling Report

Questions regarding information contained in this report can be directed to:

Mark Phillips,
SLRD Director of Protective Services
mphillips@slrd.bc.ca

UPDATED: May 21. 2024

The Province of British Columbia has provided additional information regarding the water quality sampling at Gun Lake. The Provincial overview document is available here.


April 18, 2024: April 3 and 4, 2024 Casper Creek and Downton Lake Town Hall Follow-up

The SLRD would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the Casper Creek and Downton Lake Town Halls on April 3 and 4, 2024.

The recordings from the virtual events are now available:

March 26, 2024: Recovery Update Email sent to residents

'To support Gun Lake area residents affected by the Downton Lake wildfire, we formed an internal recovery committee with the goal of assisting residents through the recovery process. Since September, we've actively raised recovery issues and advocated for your needs and concerns with various provincial ministries and agencies. Our ongoing communication and collaboration efforts aim to address the various and complicated challenges posed by the wildfire and its aftermath.' Read the complete update.



View the following Clean up and Rebuilding graphic to help navigate the process:



1. CLEAN UP: Debris and Waste Management

Wildfire recovery brings with it many unique and challenging disposal issues. The recovery process starts with clean up - which can be unique for each property owner. Take steps to prepare and plan for removal of debris and waste as a result of wildfire.

View our CLEAN UP: Debris and Waste Management guide to help with the process.

Contact for questions about wildfire debris disposal:

Environmental Services Department
Phone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 292 | Email: utilities@slrd.bc.ca



2. REBUILDING: Planning and Permits

The SLRD manages the zoning and permitting process for new construction projects in the region, including projects related to wildfire loss and damage. Planners and building officials are available to review your rebuilding ideas and guide you through regulations and requirements specific to your plans.

View our recovery guide related to REBUILDING: Planning and Permits.

Contacts for questions about rebuilding and permits:

Building Permit Applications and Inquiries about Rebuilding
Phone: (604) 894-6371 | Email: bldgofficial@slrd.bc.ca

Applications related to riparian or wildfire development permit areas, contact the Planning Department
Phone: (604) 894-6371 | Email: planning@slrd.bc.ca



3. Utilities Support


For questions related to utilities, contact your provider directly. For private water systems contact your provider or the contractor who regularly services your system. The following is a list of contacts for the Downton Lake Wildfire impacted area:

  • BC Hydro call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) or FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847
  • For underground service inquiries before you dig: BC 1 Call or call 1-800-474- 6886
  • Fortis BC: Natural gas: 1-888-224-2710 or Electricity: 1-866-436-7847
  • Rogers/Shaw: Toll-free: 1-888-472-2222
  • TELUS Mobility: *611 on your TELUS mobile phone or call 1-866-558-2273
  • TELUS Internet: Toll-free call 1-888-811-2323


4. Additional contacts


Reminder to SUBSCRIBE to:

Do you still have questions related to recovery?

Not finding what you need? Or wish to provide us with feedback on this page? Send our recovery team a message. We're here to help.

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Page last updated: 29 May 2024, 11:32 AM