August 3/03 2:40 am - Sun Peaks Fire Hazard Update
Posted by Editor on 08/3/03
Sun Peaks Canada Cup Update
We received the following message from Henry Pejril, organizer of the Canada Cup Final scheduled for next weekend.
It is quite possible that the Canada Cup Finals at Sun Peaks will be cancelled. The area around Kamloops and Sun Peaks is presently inundated by three massive forest fires. The location of these fires blocks virtually all access to Sun Peaks, and the mountain has been put on 1 hour Evacuation alert. All of the guests and most of the residents have been removed from the mountain and there is only a skeleton crew left there, manning snow guns to try to keep the village area moist. Highways in the North Thompson area remain closed and we are not sure when they will reopen. Over 3000 people in areas surrounding Sun Peaks have been evacuated so far. As long as we have access to return to the mountain even as late as Wednesday there should be no problem running the event.
The courses are all built and groomed, and partially signed. The remaining signage and taping could be accomplished within hours. The issue is simply access at this point. I stress that at this time Sun Peaks is not in any danger from the three fires, it's just that those fires have blocked all access to the mountain. I will be communicating with CCA on Tuesday with the conditions on the mountain and the final decision of mountain management if the race can, in fact, proceed. Note that there is some rain forcast for Tuesday, but it is not known if this will be enough to reduce the fire hazard.
Any public inquiries should go to www.sunpeaksresort.com or guest services: 250-578-5484. Internet communication is also difficult, as the Shaw fibreoptic line has been damaged by the fires and crews are not allowed to get in. It took me almost 1-1/2 hours to get into a dialup connection. Once again, Sun Peaks itself is not in any immediate danger from the fires, but obviously the fire hazard there is most extreme.
Henry Pejril - Race Organizer