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Rebuilding process underway in Shuswap after devastating Bush Creek East blaze

Burned vehicles are seen at a property destroyed by the Bush Creek East wildfire, in Scotch Creek, B.C., Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. Daryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

Eight months after the devastating Bush Creek East wildfire caused an estimated $240 million in insured damage, the rebuilding process in the North Shuswap is underway.

On Tuesday, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said it issued building permits for 12 projects, with another 10 more in progress, including eight for single-family homes.

It also said of the 233 properties affected by the wildfire, around 109 will likely require a development permit before a building permit can be issued.

Click to play video: 'Local officials discuss emergency preparedness'
Local officials discuss emergency preparedness

“We are thrilled to have issued these building permits and see these residents move forward with their projects following the devastation caused by the Bush Creek East wildfire,” said Gerald Christie of the regional district.

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“Rebuilding is happening now in the North Shuswap, and we are committed to working through the necessary processes with property owners as quickly as possible.”

The regional district said in addition to those permits, it has issued another 11 development permits, with 11 more currently in progress.

It also noted that specific staff and resources are dedicated to working with affected property owners and to “manage the expected increase in land-use and building permits this season.”

Affected residents are encouraged to contact the CSRD Development Services department directly for assistance.

In estimating the insurance damage, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said more than 270 structures were confirmed to have been destroyed, along with extensive damage to public infrastructure, including damage to hydro poles that resulted in power outages for thousands of customers.

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