Two new evacuation orders issued as record-breaking temperatures fuel wildfires

The Crater Creek Wildfire burning southwest of Keremeos let up a massive plume of smoke Tuesday night, prompting many calls and reports to BC Wildfire. Jack Simpson

Two new evacuation orders are in effect as sweltering heat and dry conditions fuel wildfires across the province.

The latest order Tuesday night came from the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District as the Casper Creek wildfire burns dangerously close in the Seton Portage area.

The order issued at 10:30 p.m. covers all properties in Electoral Areas “A” and “B”, including the Seton Lake and Shalalth communities west of Lillooet.

Map of Evacuation Area. Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Residents in the area are being told to leave immediately.

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According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Casper Creek wildfire was spotted on July 11 and is currently burning out of control at 4,650 hectares.

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They say fire behavior increased significantly along the northeast flank of the fire Tuesday, fueled by strong winds and extremely hot and dry conditions.

The spread has forced the closure of Mission Mountain Road between the Terzaghi Dam and Shalath, after the blaze crossed over the route.

Meanwhile, in the Okanagan, another evacuation order was declared southwest of the Village of Keremeos due to the threat of two wildfires.

Map of evacuation area. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

The order covers 13 properties in Electoral Areas “B” and “G” along the Ashnola River and Ewart Creek Road, including Cathedral Provincial Park, Cathedral Lakes Lodge and the Snowy Protected Area.

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Those in the areas under the order are being told to leave immediately.

An evacuation alert is also in effect for 74 properties in the area along the Similkameen River.

The Gillanders Creek and the Crater Creek wildfires are both considered out of control, producing significant smoke seen across cities in the Interior.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Gillanders Creek blaze was spotted on July 13 and is burning 480 hectares roughly 12 kilometers southwest of the Village of Keremeos.

The Crater Creek fire is even larger at 697 hectares, burning 18 kilometers southwest of the Village of Keremeos.

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