July 7, 2017 5:17 pm
Updated: July 10, 2017 2:53 pm

Ashcroft wildfire grows from 700 to 4,000 hectares in about five hours

Global BC camera operator Pat Bell captured some images of horses fleeing a wildfire near Ashcroft, B.C. Friday afternoon.

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As temperatures continue to rise across B.C., multiple fires continue to burn across the region.

In Ashcroft, a wildfire grew from 700 to 4,000 hectares in about four hours Friday, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

On Saturday, the fire was reported to have stayed that size.

The wildfire has prompted an evacuation order for the entire village of Cache Creek.

Ashcroft Hospital has also been temporarily closed.

According to BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) some structures have been impacted by the fire, while more remain under threat.

Many of the evacuees have found their way to Kamloops.

 

READ MORE: Evacuation order expanded due to wildfire burning west of 100 Mile House, B.C.

The wildfire was discovered on Thursday around 10 p.m. The Ashcroft fire department, Cache Creek fire department and local authorities are currently on site battling the blaze.


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As of Friday afternoon, there were 48 firefighters, aircraft, and heavy equipment on site.

Fire information officer Justine Hunse said the hot weather and dry conditions, as well as high winds, have affected the fighting efforts.

BCWS said the fire is still considered “out of control.”

The fire has also forced the Ashcroft Hospital and Health Centre to close temporarily.

“This measure is to ensure the safety of all individuals, due to limited staffing levels and power, both affected by wildfire activity,” read a statement.

This means the Emergency Department will be closed until further notice.

In the event of an emergency, residents are being asked to visit the emergency department at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, Lillooet Hospital, or St. Bartholomew’s Health Centre in Lytton.

The smoke can be seen all the way from Highway 97C.

Highway 1 and Highway 97C have been closed near Ashcroft due to the fire.

BC RCMP is asking the public to refrain from using Highway 97 near Kamloops and Cache Creek unless in a case of emergency.

The fire is also affecting more than 1,000 BC Hydro customers who have been left without power.

WATCH: Horses flee fire near Ashcroft

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Another fire has sparked in Cache Creek, which is a little more than 10 kilometres away from Ashcroft. Cache Creek mayor John Ranta said an evacuation order was issued at 4:50 p.m. Friday, which impacts 1,000 to 1,500 people.

Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has ordered the following properties to evacuate immediately:

  • 1029, 1080, 1046, 897, 869, 1066, 1034, 1049, 992, 1022, 653, 1097, 1037 Hwy 97C
  • 1201, 529, 1277, Tumble Weed Rd.
  • 488, 496, 508 Empter Frontage Rd.
  • 1400 Coyote Valley Rd.
  • 785, 828, Airport Rd.

Evacuees are being asked to go to the McArthur Island Sports Plex in Kamloops at 1655 Island Parkway.

The fire is currently on the hillside to the west of Cache Creek and Ranta said it’s moving at an incredible pace but has not yet reached the village.

Ranta has signed a state of local emergency.

 

WATCH MORE: Full coverage of B.C. wildfires on Globalnews.ca

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