Evacuation order given to Williams Lake, BC due to wildfires


Williams Lake was issued an Evacuation Alert earlier in the week.

More evacuation orders were issued Saturday night as winds picked up in the Interior, jumping highways and threatening to cut off escape routes.

Aggressive wildfires have forced almost 40,000 British Columbians from their homes early into the wildfire season, with strong wind gusts pushing flames across the Fraser River and threatening to choke off major highways. The evacuation order also includes: Areas east of the Frasier River from the existing evacuation order at Soda Creek to 9.0 km (5.5 miles) south of the Sheep Creek Bridge, including English Road.

A detailed map showing the properties within the Evacuation Order area is available at www.cordemergency.ca/map.

Fifteen of those fires pose an immediate threat to communities, the largest of those is burning near Ashcroft and now covers 423 square kilometres.

The last time B.C. declared a state of emergency was in 2003 when more than 50,000 people had to be evacuated from Kelowna and the surround area.

The fire has been largely been contained, Windsor said, but the situation has not yet been stabilized.

University Hospital of Northern B.C. spokesperson Steve Raper said the city's hospital has opened additional spaces to be able to accept any additional hospitalized patients from the Williams Lake evacuation. "It's going to happen we just have to keep a close eye on how it unfolds".

Crews continued to make good progress on the West Fraser Road complex of fires yesterday.

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In one instance, water from a kiddie pool was used to extinguish a fire on a lawn. I was seeing if they would change their mind but I don't think so.

"I think basically, Mother Nature is sort of bringing forward our worst case scenario", Richmond said.

For the latest wildfire info, call the B.C. Wildfire Service at 1-888-336-7378.

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

Evacuees already registered at the evacuation centre at CNC (3330 - 22nd Ave.) will have their food voucher services extended another 14 days.

Mack's three children have been evacuated, two of them to Prince George.

Evacuees should report to the emergency reception centre at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

Other evacuees have found refuge with friends and family and people who have opened their homes to them.