Residents of Logan Lake are crediting more than just fire crews for the lifting of the community's evacuation order on Thursday.
The District of Logan Lake has been certified as FireSmart, and is known as the first community in B.C. to have established a fire safety plan — something that came in handy last week when the Tremont Creek wildfire looked poised to cause significant damage to homes in the municipality.
As residents returned home on Thursday, a week after the order to evacuate was made, many said they felt as prepared as possible.
“I think the community was fairly well prepared. But you know, it's still a shock what it actually does happen,” Logan Lake resident Ken Dueck said, adding that FireSmart precautions, the work of local firefighters and some luck all contributed to Logan Lake seeing very little damage.
“We have a suppression system in town where we install sprinklers on the roofs of all the new homes, because this is a FireSmart community. So, along with all the town has done ahead of time and the hard work of all the people that came in here and our local fire department, I think we're pretty lucky.”
The evacuation alert for Logan Lake was issued on July 30 — almost two weeks before the residents were ordered to evacuate, which Dueck said ensured everyone was packed and ready.
“We had lots of advance notice, which was good,” he said.
Other residents said they had packed a go-bag even before they were on evacuation alert.
“We were prepped probably a month before. We had a bag packed and the trailer and was ready to go whenever,” Jordan Gerdevich, another resident of Logan Lake, explained.
Gerdevich and her husband, Cody Ouellette, moved to Logan Lake last year. This was their first fire season in the community and Ouellette said he was surprised how organized the preparation and evacuation process was.
“When the order came about, it seemed like everyone was fairly efficient getting out of town— no one really was staggering. Everyone had a plan loaded and gone,” Ouellette said.