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New After Action Review for Cariboo Wildfires summarizes last summer’s wildfire events, provides recommendations

May 11, 2018

The Cariboo wildfires impacted Northern Health from July 7 through August 23, 2018. The largest impacts to NH were caused by the northward evacuation of Interior Health facilities and communities into the NH region. With the support of local partners, the City of Prince George and Emergency Social Services hosted about 10,000 evacuees.

The total included 254 evacuees from Interior Health facilities: patients, assisted living residents and long term care clients.

With support from local partners, two NH facilities in Quesnel and twelve facilities in Prince George hosted these evacuees. Staff from four other BC health authorities and two private agencies also assisted.

As well, to meet the needs of the general population of evacuees, Northern Health set up a Primary Care Clinic and Nursing Triage Unit at the College of New Caledonia (CNC). The Primary Care Clinic included 10 treatment beds, 1 isolation room and 3 exam rooms, and accumulated approximately 1,000 patient visits during its operations.

During the emergency, NH activated three Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs): Quesnel Health Services EOC; Prince George Health Services EOC; and NH Regional EOC.

By August 23, 2017, all Interior Health patients, assisted living clients, and long term care clients were successfully returned to their home communities, and the EOCs had been demobilized.

In fall 2017, Northern Health Emergency Management conducted reviews in which over 335 staff and physicians participated. These included a survey, departmental meetings, and open houses. Feedback was positive. Recommendations arising from the reviews fell under eight key themes, listed below. For the full list of recommendations, see the complete After Action Review.

  1. Internal Communication Process
  2. Staffing Resources and Process
  3. Emergency Preparedness
  4. Infrastructure
  5. External Communications
  6. Indigenous Partners
  7. Demobilization
  8. Public Health

For more information on After Action Reviews:

What is an After Action Review (pdf)