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Bush Creek East wildfire: Regional district lifts moratorium on building permits

People living in the fire-ravaged neighbourhoods of South Adams Lake and Shuswap Lake areas are getting a tentative go-ahead to move forward with rebuilding their homes with the completion of a geohazard assessment.

“Our hearts are with those who have lost so much, and we thank all these affected residents for their patience. We are very pleased that this geohazard report can be used by the residents to help make safe and informed decisions during the rebuilding process,”  Marty Herbert, Columbia Shuswap Regional District manager of building and bylaw services, said in a press release.

The wildfire burned mountainous slopes draining into Adams Lake, Shuswap Lake and Little Shuswap Lake, creating the potential for increased geohazard risks on alluvial fans, steep creeks and rock slopes.

As such, on Sept. 14 the regional district board unanimously agreed to place a temporary building moratorium on the fire-impacted areas of the Shuswap until an overview geotechnical assessment was complete.

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Click to play video: 'Shuswap residents get first look at Bush Creek East Fire damage'

Shuswap residents get first look at Bush Creek East Fire damage

An initial report has been completed and is now available for public review in the Reports section of the CSRD website. In turn,  the temporary building moratorium was lifted, though challenges will likely remain.

The report indicates there are some new hazards for landowners and the regional district to be aware of in these fire-impacted areas. These risk factors may affect the building permit process, including the possible requirement for additional property-specific geotechnical assessments.

If landowners want to build any structures on their property, they are strongly advised to contact CSRD building staff early in their planning process.

The blaze, which destroyed 176 homes within the regional district and partially damaged another 50. The First Nation of Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw (Little Shuswap Lake Band) reported that it had lost 85 structures.

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It’s currently estimated at 43,346 hectares, around 300 ha larger than it was on Sept. 1.

For more information on the next rebuilding steps for a particular property, please contact the building department by email at Questions about land-use planning in the CSRD can be directed to


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