Wildfire mitigation top of list for new TNRD director who lost home to Lytton fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildfire mitigation top of list for new TNRD director who lost home to Lytton fire

Lytton resident Tricia Thorpe rebuilding in the wake of the Lytton Creek wildfire.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Tricia Thorpe

A Lytton resident who lost her home in the devastating wildfire that ripped through town in 2021 is advocating for rural issues as a new Thompson Nicola Regional District director.

Tricia Thorpe was elected to represent Area “I”, Blue Sky Country, in the district’s 2022 general election yesterday, Oct. 15. Thorpe beat incumbent contender Steven Rice who received 123 votes.

“I advocate for people,” she said. “I see a lot of rural issues not being addressed by the district and figured being on the inside would give me a better chance of helping make much needed change.”

Thorpe spent two months talking to members of the rural community living in the vast electoral area collecting a list of concerns in a thick notebook.

Not surprising, wildfire mitigation is at the top of the list.

“A lot of people have concerns around fire mitigation and want a proactive approach rather than a reactive one,” Thorpe said. “It is an issue that is close to my heart.”

Thorpe lost her house and some beloved animals in the Lytton Creek Fire that destroyed the entire town. She has been rebuilding her home and property since.

READ MORE: Couple racing to rebuild home destroyed by Lytton Creek wildfire as winter approaches

Thorpe said other concerns are around water irrigation and fire protection, and health care, among a smattering of smaller issues.

“There is a lack of healthcare in our rural communities and a lot of that has to do with the province but it doesn’t mean we can’t advocate on a district level and all work together to push for improvements,” she said.

“There are a lot of different concerns, it is complex and we need to listen to people.”

Thorpe was prompted to join the board after feeling some needs of the rural community were being ignored by the district.

“A lot of rural issues are not being addressed,” she said. “In the past I feel I’ve been shouting to the wind so I started thinking the only way to make changes is to get on the inside.”

Thorpe is excited about her electoral win and ready to get to work. 

“I’m really pleased because it was a team effort, people got out and voted,” she said. “It takes a community to make a change and I hope I can live up to their expectations and continue to build trust.

“I couldn’t have done this without the support of my husband and members of the community.”

The area is enormous – running up to 16 mile near Clinton, up Highway 8 and up Highway 12.

Thorpe joins directors Usoff Tsao, for Electoral Area “A” (Wells Gray Country), Lee Onslow who was acclaimed for Electoral Area “B” (Thompson Headwaters), Jim Smith, for Electoral Area “E” (Bonaparte Plateau), Michael Grenier for Electoral Area “J” (Copper Desert Country), Doug Haughton for Electoral Area “L” (Grasslands), David Laird, who was acclaimed for Electoral Area “M” (Beautiful Nicola Valley – North), Herb Graham, who was acclaimed for Electoral Area “N” (Beautiful Nicola Valley – South), Jill Hayward, who was acclaimed for Electoral Area “O” (Lower North Thompson), and Lee Morris for Electoral Area “P” (Rivers and the Peaks) as the new regional district board.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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