August 13, 2017 1:21 pm
Updated: August 13, 2017 6:28 pm

B.C. wildfire status Sunday: New evacuation orders issued as fires continue to burn

Organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival at the Salmo River Ranch are asking guests to pack up early. Tanya Beja reports.

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B.C.’s wildfire crisis continues to burn out of control with more evacuation orders being issued overnight.

Cariboo evacuation orders

New wildfires led to an expanded evacuation order in the Canim Lake area, affecting around 550 people. The evacuation route is Eagle Creek Road to Forest Grove to 100 Mile House. Evacuees are asked to register at the curling club on Wrangler Way in 100 Mile House.

An evacuation order has been expanded from Alexis Creek to Riske Creek as the Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire jumped Highway 20 and expanded into the Bald Mountain area.

WATCH: Latest B.C. wildfire coverage


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Residents are asked to leave immediately and make their way to Williams Lake along Highway 20, which is only open eastbound to evacuees and emergency responders. Those who need group lodging are being told to continue to Prince George and register at the civic centre on Canada Games Way.

The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire is nearly 180,000 hectares in size and is 25 per cent contained.

Elephant Hill wildfire

The growing Elephant Hill wildfire in the Thompson-Nicola region prompted orders for more than 40 homes in the Bonaparte and Criss Creek areas Saturday. That fire is 124,000 hectares in size and more than 575 firefighters are working to contain it.

Kokanee Creek wildfire 

Lightning sparked two new fires in the central Kootenays near Nelson Saturday, leading to an evacuation alert for more than 135 properties in an area that runs between Sitkum Creek and the Crescent Bay area. The 70-hectare fire is being called the Kokanee Creek wildfire and is burning on steep and difficult terrain.

On Saturday, lightning caused 14 new wildfires throughout the southeast fire centre alone.

Shambhala Music Festival

A weekend music festival in southern British Columbia that was cancelled due to an encroaching wildfire is now back on.

Organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival say in an email that damp, cool weather has downgraded the threat of the fire moving close to the Salmo River Ranch property where the event is held.

They say the decision follows hours of meetings on Sunday morning with the Regional District of Central Kootenay and other local government.

Sunday will be the final night for the festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The regional district had issued an evacuation alert Saturday morning after the BC Wildfire Service reported that flames had crossed the Salmo River and were heading toward Salmo, B.C.

Air quality advisories

Many are breathing a sigh of relief as rain washes the streets and cleans the air in the Lower Mainland this morning.

The air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley was lifted Saturday.

Not everyone in the province is enjoying the fresh air. An air quality statement remains in effect for the Fraser Canyon, the Kootenays, the Okanagan, the Cariboo and central northern B.C.

Those living in smoky areas are reminded to avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

WATCH: Smoke lifts from Metro Vancouver

– With files from The Canadian Press

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