Emergency Preparedness

Wiseman Creek Post-Wildfire Debris Flow Assessment

The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) retained BGC Engineering Inc. (BGC) to
complete a hazard assessment following the 2021 Two Mile Road Wildfire. The fire affected Wiseman Creek, which flows onto the Sicamous Creek fan-delta complex and is located immediately south of the town of Sicamous. This fan-delta complex is composed of sediments of Sicamous Creek, Wiseman Creek and a small unnamed creek south of Wiseman Creek. This work was commissioned following a separate hazard assessment for Sicamous Creek currently being completed by BGC for the Fraser Basin Council (FBC). During fieldwork for FBC, Wiseman Creek watershed was identified by BGC as being prone to post-wildfire debris flows.

View the Assessment Report.

Two Mile Community Meeting - December 13, 2021

On December 13, 2021, the District of Sicamous and Shuswap Emergency Program hosted a Community Meeting at the Red Barn Arts Centre to discuss post-wildfire landslide risks in the Two Mile area.

Matthias Jakob, Principal Geoscientist with BGC Engineering, provided a presentation to attendees who participated both in person and online. Along with Jakob, the meeting panelists included Engineering Geologist Hazel Wong, District of Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino and Derek Sutherland with the Shuswap Emergency Program. 

The meeting was hosted online via ZOOM and was recorded for those who were unable to attend. 

ZOOM Meeting Recording:

Resources for Residents:

Communication & Contacts

The District of Sicamous and Shuswap Emergency Program are committed to communicating effectively with residents as information becomes available. Please let us know the best way to communicate with you by contacting the District Office at 250-836-2477 or emailing info@sicamous.ca

Shuswap Emergency Program Contact:

Tom Hansen, Emergency Program Coordinator 
Shuswap Emergency Program/Columbia Shuswap Regional District
P: 250-833-5910
E: thansen@csrd.bc.ca

SEP is looking to create a Neighbourhood Emergency Program to ensure information is shared with those directly affected. Please contact the Shuswap Emergency Program to participate by calling Cathy Semchuk, who is the Emergency Program Facilitator.

Neighbourhood Emergency Program Contact:

Cathy Semchuk, Emergency Program Facilitator and Operations Management
Shuswap Emergency Program/Columbia Shuswap Regional District
P: 250-833-5927
E: csemchuk@csrd.bc.ca

Learn more and register for Emergency Alerts with the new Alertable app. 

Post-Wildfire Debris Flow Risk Wiseman Creek FAQ:

A debris flow is a fast, flowing landslide comprised of mud, rocks, trees and water. Debris flows can move faster than even the fastest person can run. They can sweep away cars and can bury or destroy homes.

The District of Sicamous and the Shuswap Emergency Program needs Two Mile residents to take this information seriously. There is a very real risk to both lives and property. Cold winter conditions are more favourable for slope stability, but spring rains combined with melt will increase the risk of debris flow.

The Sicamous Creek mobile home park is at a high risk of damage from a debris flow that is likely to occur in the next two years.

The cause of the situation is the wildfire that burned above Two Mile this summer. It has created conditions where the slopes do not have vegetation to support them. Also, without trees to absorb rainwater, it runs off much more rapidly taking soil and other debris with it.

Chance of a debris flow is high, but the severity of damage will depend on the rainfall event that triggers the debris flow. It could range from moderate or nuisance damage to the mobile home structures to total destruction of property and potential loss of life.

A severe event could affect Highway 97A and homes on the Mara Lake side of the highway.

The District of Sicamous and Shuswap Emergency Program were recently made aware of the threat as part of geotechnical work in the watershed. We have communicated these risks to the residents, so they can understand the very high likelihood of a debris flow in the next two years.

This meeting on December 13, 2021 was a first step to provide residents with the same information from the geotechnical engineers that we have and a basic look at some options for what to do. This includes:

  • Developing an early warning system to trigger for evacuation alerts and orders in the area depending on weather forecasts.
  • Undertaking possible land mitigation efforts like building berms, debris basins or using engineered piles to help create a barrier to contain debris flows.
  • Possibly moving the mobile homes to another location.

On Monday, December 13, Emergency Management BC authorized money to allow the geotechnical engineering team to create an Options Report to help determine the best strategies based on safety, feasibility, cost and timelines. Any mitigation work needs to be done before spring. There will be public communications of information on proposed options once the report is complete.

There are things residents can look for in the area and if you notice them, they should be reported. Take action if you:

  • See a change in water flow or colour in creek,
  • Notice blockages in culverts,
  • Notice rocks falling down the slope,
  • Hear trees cracking or falling.

In those cases, contact Tom Hansen, emergency program coordinator, during business hours at 250.833.5910. After hours, please call 1.877.996.3344. If the situation is an emergency, call 911 immediately.

The District of Sicamous and the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) want to engage with residents, so everyone can be aware of the risk and have information about how to prepare for an emergency situation.

SEP is looking to create a Neighbourhood Emergency Program to ensure information is shared with those directly affected. Please contact the Shuswap Emergency Program to participate by calling Cathy Semchuk, Emergency Program Facilitator at 250.833.5927 or by email at csemchuk@csrd.bc.ca

A recording of the December 13 Community Meeting is available on the District of Sicamous website. Printed information on emergency preparedness is available for pick up at district office or you can access the Prepared BC website for electronic copies of their guides and resources.

The District of Sicamous and the Shuswap Emergency Program are committed to communicating effectively with residents as information becomes available. Please let us know the best way to communicate with you by contacting the District Office at 250-836-2477 or emailing  info@sicamous.ca

Stay informed. Pay attention to the District of Sicamous and Shuswap Emergency Program websites, and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Connect with your neighbours and participate in a Neigbourhood Emergency Program. Make plans for how you will handle the situation if an emergency occurs while you are away from home.        

Sign up for Alertable, the CSRD’s emergency notification system which would be used to directly alert to your cell phone, landline or computer in case of emergency. The District of Sicamous is part of this region-wide program run by the CSRD. Go to www.csrd.bc.ca/alertable to register.