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Evacuation order issued for B.C. communities of Edgewood, Needles due to nearby wildfire

Click to play video: 'Evacuation order issued for the town of Edgewood' Evacuation order issued for the town of Edgewood
An evacuation order has been issued for the residents of the remote Kootenay community of Edgewood. As Aaron McArthur reports, the village, located on the west shore of Lower Arrow Lake, is now surrounded by fire.

Two small communities nestled along Lower Arrow Lake in B.C.’s Southern Interior are now under evacuation orders.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) expanded its evacuation order because of the Michaud Creek wildfire that’s burning along the west side of the lake.

Click to play video: 'Hundreds of people evacuated from Fauquier, Edgewood area' Hundreds of people evacuated from Fauquier, Edgewood area
Hundreds of people evacuated from Fauquier, Edgewood area – Jul 21, 2021

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Read more: B.C. wildfire update Wednesday: ‘A bad stretch of weather ahead of us,’ premier says

The fire is estimated to be 2,670 hectares in size and is located around 21 kilometres south of Edgewood.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, “strong winds are expected to increase well into today and continue to drive aggressive fire behaviour in the interior, southern interior, and southeast region of the province.”
The evacuation order now includes the small communities of Edgewood and Needles, and runs north to Whatshan Lake, for a total of 356 properties.

The RDCK had previously implemented an evacuation order for two properties in the Cinnamon Lake and Johnson Creek areas.

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To compound matters, on the east side of the lake, and around 18 km northeast of the Michaud Creek wildfire, is the Octopus Creek fire.

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfire: Fire near Sicamous being held due to quick response' B.C. wildfire: Fire near Sicamous being held due to quick response
B.C. wildfire: Fire near Sicamous being held due to quick response – Jul 21, 2021

The Octopus Creek fire is estimated at 4,200 hectares.

It’s also located 11 km south of the community of Fauquier — which is one of two transit points for the Needles ferry across the lake, with Needles being the other.

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On Tuesday night, the regional district upgraded its evacuation alert to an evacuation order for Fauquier. The order affects 168 properties.

The regional district said affected residents and visitors were required to leave the area immediately and report to the Nakusp and District Sports Complex in Nakusp or register online with emergency support services.

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfire: State of emergency now in effect as thousands evacuate' B.C. wildfire: State of emergency now in effect as thousands evacuate
B.C. wildfire: State of emergency now in effect as thousands evacuate – Jul 21, 2021

The fire is said to be highly visible from Edgewood, Fauquier, Needles and surrounding areas.

According to DriveBC, the Needles ferry is closed to all traffic but emergency vehicles. The Arrow Park 3 ferry will run 24 hours.

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