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Squamish Valley wildfire leads to evacuations, local state of emergency

Squamish Valley wildfire leads to evacuations, local state of emergency - image
Courtesy: Vera Frinton

A state of local emergency has been declared near Squamish due to an out-of-control wildfire that has prompted six homes to be evacuated.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District issued the declaration late Wednesday after the 100-hectare fire, burning 15 kilometres north of Brackendale, threatened a handful of homes, a campground and BC Hydro infrastructure.

Parts of the Upper Squamish Valley are under an evacuation order, while other parts are on evacuation alert.

The Paradise Valley area, Squamish Nation Ch’iyakmesh Reserve, and an area north of Magee Road are also on evacuation alert.

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The Evans Lake Forestry Education Society outdoor camp says it has evacuated all staff and residents, and is protecting its structures with rooftop sprinklers.

All visitors and non-resident property owners are being asked to stay out of the Squamish and Paradise valleys.

Two Squamish Fire Rescue crews and 37 members of the BC Wildfire Service along with three helicopters are working to protect structures and homes.

Police said they were notified that the fire had spread from a slash pile burn around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The flames jumped the Squamish Valley Road near Magee Road, police said, making the route impassable.

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By 6 p.m., the fire had moved towards Levette Lake and Evans Lake, leading officers to ask residents to evacuate the area.

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Coastal Fire Centre spokeswoman Donna MacPherson has said the blaze was likely human-caused.

Environment Canada forecasts the Squamish area could reach 21 C Thursday with gusty winds and only a 30-per-cent chance of showers by Friday.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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