A new wildfire has roared to life in B.C.’s Shuswap region and has now forced about a thousand residents from their homes.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Two Mile Creek fire is burning alongside Mara Lake, two kilometres south of the District of Sicamous.
The fire has grown from an initial size of 10 hectares to roughly 60 hectares and is classified as out of control.
BC Wildfire says that it is responding with six ground personnel and multiple helicopters. and that the Sicamous and Swansea Point fire departments are also battling the blaze.
Further, it says aircraft will be using the nearby lake for suppression activities, so boaters are asked to steer clear of the area.
Just before 2 p.m., on Tuesday, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District issued an evacuation alert.
“A wildfire burning in the area of Two Mile Creek on the boundary of the District of Sicamous and Electoral Area E may pose a danger to people and property,” said the regional district.
It said due to the potential danger to life, health or property, the alert is in effect for the following areas:
The area of the District of Sicamous south of the Trans-Canada Highway, up to the eastern and western boundaries of the District of Sicamous.
In addition to the alert, a map posted by the CSRD shows a small section where a tactical evacuation has been initiated.
According to the CSRD, the tactical evacuation underway involved homes nearest the fire, but added that assessments are continuing.
The Shuswap Emergency Program said about 1,000 residents were being evacuated, and are being told to head to the Sicamous Seniors Centre.
To view the evacuation alert, click here.
In related news, DriveBC is reporting that part of Highwayt 97A near Sicamous is closed to traffic both directions.
Interior Health also said Tuesday that the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Sicamous has been cancelled due to the evacuation alerts throughout the area. Anyone with appointments will be contacted directly to reschedule.