July 9, 2017 9:38 pm
Updated: July 10, 2017 3:59 pm

Williams Lake fire grows to 1,000 hectares, forcing hundreds to evacuate

A number of fires have scorched more than 1,000 hectares of land and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes. Officials say a series of lightning strikes caused several wildfires in the region.

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A number of fires near Williams Lake have scorched more than 1,000 hectares of land and chased hundreds of residents from their homes.

Officials say a series of lightning strikes caused several wildfires and closed major routes in and out of the community.

It’s feared a number of homes have been destroyed. Lee’s Corner, a popular café in the area, has also burned down.

The Cariboo Regional District issued an evacuation alert Saturday morning for properties on the south side of the lake.

There are also reports that gas stations in some communities are running low on gas.

BC Hydro crews were on the scene Saturday attempting to restore power to the community.

In an email to Global News, Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said the city was preparing an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The city tweeted that an EOC had been activated just before 7:30 p.m. 

It also tweeted that fires “pose no immediate threat” to residents.

Coverage of B.C. wildfires on Globalnews.ca:

The Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre earlier issued a statement on its Facebook page saying that the whole district has been “hit by lightning in multitude of places.”

“Fires are being reported faster than they can be written down — all over the Cariboo,” he said.

The statement advised people to leave their properties “immediately” if they were told to evacuate.

READ MORE: Princeton-area wildfire forces evacuations of children’s camp, 34 homes

It came as reports emerged of a fire that flared up close to the Williams Lake airport.

– With files from The Canadian Press

Viewer Bryan Johns sent this video from the airport at 8:35 p.m.:

Twitter user @rockdirtlogsMAK sent these videos that apparently show that blaze:

The same user posted this video, which he said wasn’t “five minutes” from the Williams Lake city centre.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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