A wildfire that ignited overnight close to Highway 1 in Hope, B.C. near the Flood Falls Trail area, has now prompted an evacuation alert, with residents being told they may need to leave at a moment’s notice.
The Flood Falls Trail has grown to 50 hectares in size, BC Wildfire says.
The alert was issued due to the “potential danger to life, safety and health,” according to the District of Hope.
The alert applies to the properties highlighted in yellow in the image below.
Those in the impacted area are being asked to prepare for a possible evacuation by locating all family members and people who live in the home, designate a place to meet, and gather essential items such as medication, valuable papers and fuel.
Residents with livestock are being asked to have a plan to move them to safety.
People in the alert zone can also prepare their homes by keeping firewood away from the home, cleaning corners of rooves where debris and embers can collect, cutting grass to less than 10 cm, removing flammable and explosive items away from the home and cleaning any leaves from under patios and balconies.
The B.C. Wildfire Service said it now has 45 firefighters and five helicopters working the fire alongside the Hope Fire Department.
The “Flood Falls Trail” wildfire is deemed out-of-control by officials and is expected to grow throughout Friday due to winds and steep terrain.
“Due to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds, growth is expected on this fire throughout the day,” BC Wildfire officials said, in a 12 p.m. update.
“This fire is burning in very steep terrain presenting access challenges for ground crews. Helicopters are focussing on bucketing the north and east flanks of the fire.”
Officials said even though the fire is highly visible to the community of Hope and drivers on the highway, Highway 1 is not being impacted at this time, nor are properties and infrastructure.
The BC RCMP is advising drivers to drive with caution and not stop to view the fire.
The Flood Falls Trail wildfire has now been designated as a wildfire of note and is believed to have been human-caused.