|The Corporation of the Village of Burns Lake|
|Regional district||Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako|
|• Governing body||Burns Lake Village Council|
|• Mayor||Chris Beach|
|• Total||6.59 km2 (2.54 sq mi)|
|• Land||6.59 km2 (2.54 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.00 km2 (0.00 sq mi)|
|Elevation||720 m (2,360 ft)|
|• Density||269.8/km2 (699/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|Highways||Hwy 16 (TCH) & Hwy 35|
|Website||Village of Burns Lake|
The Village is renowned for its rich First Nations heritage, and for its extensive network of mountain biking trails, which have received international acclaim by becoming Canada's first IMBA Ride Centre. In winter, cross country skiing trails and snowmobile wilderness trails are created. Burns Lake is located in the midst of a large networks of lakes called the Lakes District, with fishing and hunting year round, and water activities in the summer months.
There are two First Nations reserves that are part of the town, and another four nearby, making it one of the few communities in the province that have almost equal populations of persons of native or European descent. Local nations include Wet'suwet'en First Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Cheslatta Band, Ts'il Kaz Koh First Nation, Skin Tyee band and Nee Tahi Buhn band.
The town serves as a hub for the local logging, saw-milling, mining and tourist industries. It also serves as the main commercial centre for the surrounding area including Francois Lake, Colleymount, Grassy Plains, Rose Lake, Topley, and Granisle. There are three pubs, many cafes and restaurants a selection of stores and services, numerous hotels and motels, a library and a hospital. It is also the location of the head offices of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.
Burns Lake's first inhabitants were the Carrier First Nations communities that spanned much of the Lakes District and beyond.
Burns Lake itself began as a small rest stop for travelers on their way to the Yukon Gold Rush. Many of these travelers spotted opportunity in the rich forestry, fur, and mining opportunities in Burns Lake and the surrounding area.
Burns Lake acquired its name after Michael Byrnes, who was an explorer for the Collins Overland Telegraph scheme. Byrnes passed Burns lake in about 1866 while surveying a route from Fort Fraser to Hagwilget. Recent research indicates that Byrnes was also a miner during the Cariboo Gold Rush and had staked a claim on William's Creek earlier, in 1861. On the 1866 trail map of the area, the name 'Byrnes' Lake appears; after 1876 however, the maps indicate it as Burns Lake.
Bob Gerow, one of the main founders of Burns Lake, entered into partnership with Jack Seely and Howard Laidlaw to create Burns Lake Trading Company. Together, they built a store/hotel and a sawmill on Gerow Island, which would become the hub of trade for the surrounding area. The Village was incorporated on December 6, 1923. The first Mayor was G. M Gerow.
The first newspaper in Burns Lake was called the Observer, published and edited by Sidney Godwin. In the late 1950s, another newspaper, also called the Observer, was operated by Ralph Vipond. It closed in 1961.
The town continued to grow throughout the 20th century. Its current industries have become forestry and tourism, though many workers commute to jobs in the mining industry.
A number of historic buildings still stand including:
The Old Hospital
First built in 1933 by the Women's Missionary Society of the United Church of Canada, the hospital was officially opened by Canada's former Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir. Once the largest and finest public buildings between Prince George and Prince Rupert, it was famous for its fine gardens. It was later occupied by a senior citizens apartment complex, then declared a heritage building in 1982 and redeveloped as an office building by its owner, the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation.
The Bucket of Blood
Located adjacent to the Burns Lake Museum, this square-cut log building is a former fur trade post which later became a gambling den. Due to the nature of gambling, fights broke out in the building, earning its name. It now contains a display of historical artifacts from the life of Craig Wafflehouse, one of the founders of Burns Lake.
Burns Lake has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Average winter snowfall is approximately 190 cm.
|Climate data for Burns Lake|
|Record high humidex||11.0||10.0||14.4||24.5||37.6||34.4||35.9||37.4||29.5||25.0||14.3||10.8||37.6|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.0
|Average high °C (°F)||−5.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−10.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−15.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−46.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||41.1
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||5.1
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||42.3
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||13.6||11.1||11.0||8.0||12.6||14.4||12.3||12.0||12.5||13.8||13.9||13.2||148.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||57.0||94.1||138.7||190.4||233.8||242.7||267.5||242.3||155.1||105.7||52.0||43.9||1,823.2|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Burns Lake is located on Highway 16. Major commercial airlines fly into Smithers Airport, which is approximately 150 km west of Burns Lake, as well as Prince George Airport which is approximately 230 km east of Burns Lake.
Greyhound also had a regular bus service through the area.
A ferry is available to cross Francois Lake which is directly below Burns Lake. The ferry is used frequently to get to Grassy Plains.
- Lakes District Secondary School - Public High school Grades 8-12
- William Konkin Elementary School - Public Elementary School Grades K-7
- Decker Lake Elementary School - Public Elementary School Grades K-7
- Grassy Plains Elementary School - Public Elementary School Grades K-12
- Francois Lake Elementary Secondary School - Public Elementary/Secondary School K-7
- College of New Caledonia - Public Adult Learning facility
Burns Lake is surrounded by a rich First Nations culture. There are six First Nations Groups in the area:
The Lakes District Arts Council holds several arts events every year, bringing in acts from all over the globe with a variety of different types of performances including, music, theatre, and a variety of other performances.
Burns Lake hosts annual Performing Arts and Alternative Arts Festivals, drawing talent and audiences from across the region. Burns Lake also hosts an annual Aboriginal Day Celebration (the second largest in the province) which draws people from around the region and an annual Canada Day Celebration, each of which have celebratory parades.
Burns Lake has gained world renown from the International Mountain Biking Association for its network of trails on Boer Mountain. The trails, maintained by a volunteer group called Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association, include 20 km of downhill and 40 km of cross country trails. The trails continue to draw mountain bikers from all over the world and are expanding every season.
In the winter months cross country skiing is very popular at the Omineca Ski Club. Its facilities have hosted several national championships and are considered[by whom?] to rank among western Canada's best trail networks. The facilities include 25 km of groomed trails, four km of which are lit for nighttime skiing. There is also a facility for biathlon skiing.
In 2014 The Village of Burns Lake completed work on the Lakeside Multiplex and renovations to the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena. This facility includes a hockey rink, curling rink, rock climbing gym, a squash/racquetball court, a fitness facility, and multi-use rooms. The facility is located on Spirit Square, a large outdoor park with a playground, a beach, a walking path, outdoor fitness equipment, two tennis courts, and a skateboard park.
The 1.9 kilometre Opal Bed Trail leads to an active rock hounding destination, where users can look for precious minerals.
Burns Lake is considered to be the gateway to Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park and Protected Area. (The North Park is a wilderness area with no services or supplies; it cannot be accessed by road.) Fly-in tours for sightseeing, hunting and fishing are offered by local outfitters.
Burns Lake is located east from Topley (51), Houston, British Columbia (81), Granisle (100), Smithers (147), Terrace (350), and Prince Rupert, British Columbia (494). The other way is Fraser Lake (69), Vanderhoof (128), Fort St. James (175), and Prince George (223). It is located on Highway 16.
- "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "Burns Lake Census Profile". statcan.gc.ca. Government of Canada. 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
Population in 2016 - 1,779
- "Burns Lake - Municipal Office — Biographies".
- "Burns Lake - Municipal Office — Biographies".
- "Burns Lake Census Profile". statcan.gc.ca. Government of Canada. 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
Population in 2011 - 2,029
- "Welcome to Burns Lake". The Village of Burns Lake. The Village of Burns Lake. 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
During the winter, Olympic quality cross-country skiing trails and facilities draw in competitors and recreational skiers from across the province. Snowshoe enthusiasts can follow in their tracks too. Additionally, Burns Lake is a snowmobiler's paradise, with vast wilderness trails near town.
- British Columbia Place Names - GPV and Helen B. Akrigg
- Guenter, Kerry (November 23, 2011). "The life and times of gold miner; Michael Byrnes". BC Local News. Blackpress. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
Lohn Clayton White was the cartographer and artist for the Collins Overland Telegraph and would have applied the names to his 1866 map of the trail. Byrnes Lake, which appeared on maps after 1876 as Burns Lake, was the third feature named after Byrnes.
- Burns Lake Historical Society, "Burns Lake & District" D.W. Friesen and Sons Ltd, Calgary Alberta, 1973.
- "B.C. mill explosion near Burns Lake leaves 19 injured, many unaccounted for". National Post, January 21, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- Environment Canada— Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 Station Data, accessed 26 April 2018
"Burns Lake". Super.Natural British Columbia. Destination BC Corp. 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
The community hosts numerous festivals and events
- http://www.northbceh.com/burns_lake/parks/opal/[permanent dead link]
- "Tweedsmuir Provincial Park - North and Tweedsmuir Corridor Protected Area". BC Parks. BC Parks. 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- "British Columbia Travel Guide - Burns Lake". BC Travel & Tourism. BC Travel & Tourism. 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
Burns Lake lays at the bottom of the Bulkley Basin next to the largest Provincial Park in British Columbia - Tweedsmuir Park and the smallest - Deadman's Island Provincial Park