A man who was picking mushrooms on the Drill Main Forest Service Road on the archipelago of Haida Gwaii has been missing since Sept. 20.
His disappearance has prompted a joint search effort between the Archipelago Search and Rescue (ArchSAR), RCMP, Council of the Haida Nation and Old Massett Village Council.
ArchSAR manager, Chris Ashurst, said the search for 69-year-old Richard Smith Sr., began when he did not return from mushroom picking to meet with his friends.
Autumn, which is known as mushroom-picking season, also coincides with stormy weather in the archipelago of Haida Gwaii.
Search and rescue efforts have been ongoing since Smith went missing, according to Ashurst. When the storm system developed Sunday night, search efforts continued, although they were scaled back, he said.
On Monday, Environment Canada warned of a bomb cyclone off the B.C. coast — storms caused by a rapid drop in air pressure that can bring heavy rain and powerful winds. Haida Gwaii and the North Coast saw wind gusts of 100 kilometres per hour.
"A lot of people are heading out onto the landscape and every year we do hear about people who are overdue and you know we're prepared and the community is always prepared to get our bags together and go out and help bring them in," said Ashurst.
The ArchSAR manager said once the weather gets better on Sept. 27, crews will be back on the ground looking for Smith.
"We're all worried. There's pain and anxiety and that's in the family, the community and the searchers and the people who knew Richard, of course but also people who don't know Richard," said Ashurst.
Smith, who is Indigenous, is described as being five foot seven inches tall, weighing 143 pounds. He has greying black hair and brown eyes.
"The public is asked to remain out of the area of the Drill Main Forest Service Road while the search for Richard is ongoing," said Sgt. Chris Manseau, detachment commander with Daajing Giids RCMP.