Evacuation Order Issued For Williams Lake


Initially, they planned that Williams Lake residents would go north to Prince George, but Richmond said flames crossed that highway, and the majority of evacuees were diverted south towards Kamloops.

In 2016, fires in Fort McMurray in neighboring Alberta displaced 88,000 people.

The province isn't likely to get a reprieve from the wildfires ravaging the B.C. interior any time soon, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Williams Lake Coun. Jason Ryll said his truck was already packed and ready to go when the alert was issued late Saturday. The fire was not affecting prices beyond British Columbia, a relatively small producer, he said.

"We've been travelling all night, the roads were packed", said Ruth Downes, who boarded a bus from Williams Lake and was waiting to register at the centre.

Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes as wildfires burn next to their communities in British Columbia.

Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service said the Saturday forecast called for sustained winds between 20 and 40 kilometres an hour across the Cariboo region and the southern Interior, with gusts reaching 70 km-h in some areas affected by the fires.

Since the fire season began in April, more than 616 blazes have consumed 1,140 square kilometres of land, forcing officials to order evacuations affecting 16,680 people.

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Health officials say there has been an increase in hospital visits for asthma, approximately double the typical amount of visits this time of year.

Johnson said she is thankful to have a place to stay, even if it is not five-star living.

Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor said citizens' concerns about possible loss of residence were understandable.

Authorities reported that a fire at Lake Country in the Okanagan region damaged a dozen homes and other structures.

"Well, what can you expect when you're evacuated.You're going to take what you can get, you know?" said Kellen.

And while the fire has grown from 150 hectares to 188 hectares in a week, the fire camp has been closed.

"I have a hell of a time getting in and out of these beds, but it's ideal for a situation like this", she said.

Initially, that included simply gathering up shovels and Pulaski pickaxes, but then they got access to larger equipment such as a water truck and heavy equipment, in part with help from contractor Jay Camille who was doing work in the area.