September 2, 2017 1:46 am

Pressy Lake, a fire-ravaged B.C. community, wants to know what was done to save it

Residents of Pressy Lake, which lost dozens of homes to the Elephant Hill fire, say the regional district has given them little information. Nadia Stewart reports.

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In Pressy Lake, where once were flames, now there are the charred remains of homes and vehicles.

And residents of the community that’s just over 60 kilometres southeast of 100 Mile House want to know what, precisely, the province’s fire crews did to protect them.

Coverage of B.C. wildfires on Globalnews.ca:

The BC Wildfire Service told Global News that it is investigating what was done to fight the flames in Pressy Lake after the Elephant Hill fire swooped down and singed the community.

They understand that the fire, which is one of the biggest ever recorded in B.C. history, has been challenging.

But they just want to know what happened.

“Give us some answers, that’s all we want,” said Lorne Smith who, with his partner Cheryl Merriman, lost his home to the flames.

READ MORE: Massive Elephant Hill wildfire jumps containment lines

Residents like Smith say they have yet to find out from officials what actions were taken to guard Pressy Lake against the fire, and are not happy with the answers they’ve been given.

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“We’re told we should go to the Freedom of Information Act by a senior information officer in Victoria,” said Pressy Lake resident Sheena Wilkie.

“That makes me think, well, I just want to know what you did, it shouldn’t be a big secret.”

Pressy Lake is located within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and officials there said any response would have to come from the BC Wildfire Service.

In a statement to Global News, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said, “we will be investigating what happened in this situation.”

“But given that this fire is still incredibly active, we want our staff focused on the situation at hand,” he added.

READ MORE: Cranbrook-area wildfire reaches 250 hectares, evacuation order in place

For now, Pressy Lake residents like Merriman remain distraught over what they’ve lost.

“Like my children said, it’s just stuff Mom,” she told Global News.

“But it was all our stuff. We just retired.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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