Friday, June 14, 2013

Burning Event in the Bridge River Valley

Update: Saturday, June 22:  The Lillooet Fire Zone has cancelled ALL fire warden patrols in the area apparently due to the deluge of rain we have had.  Please be careful with any fires.  Also, the "Burn Man" organization has advised that this event is not a sanctioned, official "Burn Man" event and have asked that the "Burn Man" name not be used.  I have changed my title of my post in respect of that. 

Update Tuesday, June 18: My understanding is the organizers are now doing some of the appropriate things such as contacting the campground caretaker and has been communicating with the RCMP.  In addition the community of Bralorne has stepped up and are supplying fire suppression, and donations to provide porta potties, and Kokanee Helicopters are making themselves available during the burning of the structure.  So good on Bralorne people.   The RCMP do have a security plan in place.  

Update: Monday June 17.  This matter is now in the hands of Emergency officials. If you would like more information or have any concerns please contact the RCMP.

This morning through many emails and phone calls became aware of this article,
Vancouver Province Article and this proposed event in the Bridge River Valley.

I was also provided some communication from the organizers which in part stated: 
 " So now we are heading to Carpenter Lake, to the Gun Creek Campground, where a 2km square area... of open space awaits our return.
It’s a stunning location with a well kept campground next to it.
Being remote, no one cares what we do.
While we are close to Goldbrige BC, and just over the Hurley Road from Pemberton, we are far enough away from everything that we shall bother none.
I am dragging a very large sculpture in a full size school bus.
We have room for 6 people who want to split gas and enjoy a nice camping trip for a week."

The concern is obvious and I contacted RCMP, Lillooet Fire Zone and SLRD.  Once again, the Emergency Program Manager, Ryan Wainwright (best tax dollar any of us spends up here to my mind) has proved an invaluable asset to all of us tax payers in the Bridge River Valley.  He got right on it and this afternoon issued the following bulletin:

Hi folks -

This morning, the SLRD became aware of an event scheduled for next week in the Goldbridge area with potential public safety implications. I am passing this information along for the awareness of organizations who may have a response role:
*         The event is called "Cascadia Burn" ( ), and is a mini-Burning Man festival. The event will run from 17 - 23 June 2013.

*         The event is being held at the Gun Creek Hydro campground, with event activities on Gun Creek Flats, near Goldbridge. 

*         This is a non-ticketed event, open to all, and organizers are not providing anything in the way of extra services at the Gun Creek campground. There will be no provision for first aid on the site, and attendees are expected to self-regulate.

*         I spoke with event organizers this morning, and they project that 25 - 50 people will be in attendance. However, the event appeared in the The Province newspaper today (, and that could increase the number of attendees.

*         Because the projected number of attendees for Cascadia Burn is unknown, and no tickets are being sold for attendance, the event does not fall within the Special Event Permit By-law for the SLRD.
*         Cascadia Burn is being issued a fire ban exemption by BC Wildfire Management Branch (Kamloops Fire Centre), as the culmination of the event is the burning of a 24 ft. wooden sculpture on the Gun Creek Flats.

Also have heard the Lillooet Fire Centre plans daily patrols to this campground. 

I have to say I remain very concerned about a number of aspects of this:  50 people at the Gun Creek campground for a week, partying, burning 24 ft high structures, promotion through the front page of the Vancouver Province, the list goes on and on.  

I will continue to communicate with the various agencies about those concerns.
I will update this blog as more information becomes available.

Either way, if you're here might as well stop in and enjoy seeing a 24 ft piece high piece of art be burnt!  Perhaps we can sell something to raise funds for our community at this event!  No one ever said things aren't interesting in the Bridge River Valley!