Officials say showers won't help BC wildfires, wind may fuel flames

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

According to BC Emergency Management deputy minister Robert Turner, there are now 14,365 evacuees across B.C. Several evacuation orders and alerts have been issued in the past few days; most notably in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

The entire city of Williams Lake - which is located about six hours northeast of Vancouver and has a population of just over 10,000 - was ordered evacuated on Saturday evening.

Crews battling wildfires in British Columbia prepared for the worst as officials predicted stronger winds over the weekend after a slight reprieve from the weather in recent days. However windy conditions Saturday fuelled the flames and led to the Evacuation Order.

An evacuation order has been issued for the area surrounding, and including 150 Mile House. "I guess we've got to head south. Kamloops is a place I didn't want to go. They should be thinking about their life and safety first".

"Discarded cigarettes, abandoned campfires, irresponsible use of off-road vehicles" are the main causes of human-caused fires, Skrepnek said.

"Al Richmond, chair of the Cariboo regional district, on Global news Saturday night was advising evacuees from Williams Lake evacuees to go to Prince George, where the city is better equipped to handle a new wave of displaced people.

A lot of homes are still threatened", said Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor.

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Penticton Community Centre, recently opened to fire evacuees.

"I am so proud of my community", Mack had said Friday afternoon.

"Officials in Kamloops are scrambling to pull together any and all resources we can to meet the needs of all evacuees who show up here", he said during a conference call.

He says he was able to save all his livestock the day the fire started and he's grateful for firefighters working in the area.

Evacuees are now being directed to the Sandman Centre in downtown Kamloops, where almost 500 cots were set up last night to accommodate the influx of people.

Personnel and helicopters were dispatched to manage the fire and Parks Canada closed the Egypt Lake, Redearth Pass and Healy Pass areas as a precaution.

An emergency centre for evacuees has opened up at Kelowna's Salvation Army church. "We're expecting [wind] right across southern B.C".

Other reports by BadHub

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