Search and Rescue is calling for more volunteers in the region to assist in the Kispiox Valley search for missing mushroom picker Wayne Morrison, who was reported missing Tuesday.
Yesterday Search and Rescue crews, along with RCMP air support and police dog services, were called to assist and are currently searching near Helen Lake Road. It’s hoped additional volunteers will come from Terrace, Kitimat, Prince George, Fort St. John and other Northwest B.C. communities.
Shawna Morrison, Wayne’s niece, says her uncle went out with his son-in-law Tuesday morning and was expected back around 5 p.m. The two had gotten separated from each other in the dense brush at dusk, but the son-in-law could not find Wayne and called New Hazelton RCMP.
When search and rescue crews want to step-up their search efforts they typically have to make the call for additional volunteers, says Terrace SAR vice-president Dave Jephson. The call is being led by Houston SAR.
“When you want to ramp up the search with very small teams, it’s hard to do that,” says Jephson. “We’ve been asked to supply people and I had two people go yesterday.”
Wayne’s family has pooled together a $3,000 reward for the person able to find him. Food donations, use of ATVs, or other supplies are welcome.
Only people with experience in the area and wilderness being asked to help. All volunteers must check-in before joining the search. Donations can also be dropped off at the Gitanmaax Market (15 Kispiox Valley Road).
“If anyone is going out there they should definitely have a truck, if they have a car they’ll be walking into the checkpoint,” Shawna says.
To find the checkpoint, head down to Kispiox Valley and turn on Poplar Park Road. On the left will be a narrow bridge, turn right after the bridge and keep following the road until it turns into Helen Lake FSR. Keep following until you see a white plastic bag, with a sign beside it saying ‘500 Road’. Continue down until you see another plastic bag, then turn right. Drive for another kilometre to reach the checkpoint.
Wayne is described as 5’11 tall, 260 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He is an experienced mushroom picker and hunter who knows the area well, but is not prepared to stay overnight.