July 15, 2017 9:26 pm
Updated: July 16, 2017 2:38 am

B.C. wildfires: Evacuation order issued for Williams Lake

Sat, Jul 15: Fire Crews across B.C. are bracing themselves for the worst as the stormy weather predicted for this weekend has started to move through. Strong winds have already had an impact on some communities. Now an evacuation order has been ordered for the Williams Lake. Sophie Lui has more.

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An evacuation order has been issued for the City of Williams Lake and surrounding areas as crews continue to battle wildfires in the area.

More than 24,000 people are being evacuated in the area.

Residents are being asked to use Highway 97 South as an evacuation route.

Emergency Management BC says it is imperative that people evacuating Williams Lake head south.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District previously said evacuees would be given more information at Little Fort.

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It now says evacuees are to head directly to Kamloops, and report to the evacuation centre at the Sandman Centre located at 300 Lorne Street.

Four Paws Food Bank will also be open there to receive small animals.

READ: B.C. wildfires coverage

“The city isn’t under immediate threat, but potentially our routes are. And when one route in the north is cut off, we’re very concerned that we only have one route out,” said Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond.

“So we’re asking people to calmly get their goods, get in their vehicles and proceed south.”

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The city is asking residents to turn off their water and electricity before leaving their homes.

They are also asking people to take with them a piece of identification and any prescription medicine.

“Everybody, the RCMP are going door-to-door now and getting people ready to go,” said Mayor Walt Cobb.

“We’ve just notified all the buses. We just actually had a briefing for all the bus drivers… the buses will be at their muster stations for any of those that are not able to drive and they will be bussed south.”

 

WATCH: Video shows men using hose to extinguish Williams Lake flames

The key concern is the White Lake fire, a 3,800-hectare blaze burning northwest of the city.

Earlier on Saturday crews had contained about 60 per cent but feared it could jump the Fraser River and threaten homes if winds pick up.

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The following areas are being evacuated:

  • All areas east of the Fraser River from the existing evacuation order at Soda Creek to 9.0 km south of the Sheep Creek Bridge, including English Road
  • Directly east to the southern end of Chimney Lake, continuing east to Wright Station Road at the north end of Lac La Hache
  • All areas west of Highway 97 from Wright Station Road to the Williams Lake City limits, north along Highway 97, including all fringe areas of the City of Williams Lake including the areas of Fox Mountain, Pine Valley, Commodore Crescent, Glendale, Wildwood, Bull Mountain and Deep Creek not already evacuated, to the existing evacuation order area at Soda Creek.
  • This means that all individuals in the City and the above areas must evacuate immediately.

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