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Former Calgary couples’ retirement dreams dashed after losing B.C. home in wildfire

Julie and Kevin Matiowsky’s home on the shore of Shuswap Lake is among thousands gutted by fast-moving wildfires in B.C. that have tore through the region in recent days.

Now the couple, originally from Calgary, is looking at starting over, and say they may move back to Alberta as their dreams of retirement in their B.C. home have been ruined.

Following an evacuation order for the area, Julie said that she looked at the house and said, “Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be back in a few weeks.”

The home has since been reduced to rubble, and the items inside, many of sentimental value, have been destroyed.

The Matiowskys are currently staying in Calgary with relatives, and have set up a GoFundMe account to help keep them afloat as they sort out the details of their home insurance and determine what to do now.


As of Thursday, Emergency Info BC stated an evacuation order was still in effect for the northern shore of Shuswap Lake, including the Scotch Creek and Celista communities.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Bush Creek East fire in the Shuswap region remains the province’s top priority wildfire, and up to 150 more firefighters were scheduled to arrive on-site Wednesday and Thursday to further contain the blaze.

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch late Tuesday for the Shuswap region – one of the hardest-hit fire zones – with Salmon Arm recording 12 millimetres of rain on that day, the biggest single-day total all year.

The Bush Creek East wildfire burning between Chase and Sorrento is estimated at 41,041 square-kilometres and has been described as one of the fastest moving, most aggressive fires in the province’s history.

With files from The Canadian Press and Kraig Krause, CTV News

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