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The original item was published from 2/22/2022 9:23:52 AM to 8/14/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: August 13, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Facebook Fire Report Creates Issues for Emergency Personnel

Twitter Rumours

Friday, August 13, 2021

"The only thing that travels faster than wildfire is rumours. But they can be equally destructive."

- Derek Sutherland, Emergency Operations Centre Director

The Shuswap Emergency Program is aware of a situation that took place yesterday in the Tappen-Sunnybrae area where a Facebook post was made reporting a fire on Bastion Mountain.

The misinformation caused considerable panic for many community residents. This false report also created a significant amount of work for local Emergency personnel. The response included:

  • Members of the Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Department going out on patrol,
  • The diversion of a BC Wildfire helicopter, which had been working on other fire areas, to check for any signs of a new fire start,
  • Members of the Emergency Operations Centre team spending time trying to determine correct information and allay residents' fears over the phone.

If you believe you have directly witnessed a new fire start, the best place to call is 911 or *5555 on a mobile phone. Please do not post second-hand information on social media platforms.

Our communities are understandably experiencing a high level of anxiety. Rumours and misinformation fuel unnecessary panic and distress.

We encourage all residents to pay attention to the sources of information and follow reputable sources like the BC Wildfire Service, the CSRD and Shuswap Emergency Programs, local fire department pages and those of other municipalities.

If someone tells you some information you are unsure of, please ask them: "How do you know that?"

If the information is from a friend-of-your-neighbour's-aunt, you might want to try a reliable source first.

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