Canada blaze: Thousands flee homes as 162 active wildfires spread through forests

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 18, 2017

By the break of dawn on Saturday, the Kamloops centre was near capacity after several bus loads of evacuees arrived in the city.

For the latest wildfire info, call the B.C. Wildfire Service at 1-888-336-7378.

Lahaise said conditions in Williams Lake worsened in a hurry on Saturday afternoon before the evacuation order was made.

Officials previously said forecast lightning and wind gusts of up to 70 km/h starting Saturday and developing into Sunday could cause a substantial increase in wildfire activity in British Columbia's central and southern Interior.

"I'm not too anxious", Mr. Baker said. "And if there are additional resources needed from other parts of the world, we will access those as well", he said.

Kristi McLean posted to an Facebook evacuee support group saying she has a tent trailer at her home near Kamloops, B.C., that would be ideal for a family.

Hamish Telford, a political scientist at the University of the Fraser Valley, said while firefighting efforts on the ground are unlikely to be affected by the high-level transfer of power, Horgan must be careful about optics.

The entire City of Williams Lake was put under evacuation order last night, July 15, just before 6:30 p.m. and residents were asked to travel to Kamloops where a third evacuation centre has been put in place.

By noon on Monday, the fire 30 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs on the east coast of Harrison Lake near the mouth of Big Silver Creek was 188 hectares and just 20 per cent contained.

Fire Information Officer Mike McCulley isn't able to confirm whether the fire has crossed Loon Lake, but says that the way the winds are moving, combined with dry fuel and increased fire behaviour are helping to push the fire north.

Authorities reported that a fire at Lake Country in the Okanagan region damaged a dozen homes and other structures.

"I'll tell you that", said Sue LaChance, one of thousands of residents driving south out of the city.

Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor said citizens' concerns about possible loss of residence were understandable.

"I have a 20-foot container nearly full of non perishable food, Gatorade, baby supplies, toiletries, blankets and pillows", a Chilliwack, B.C., resident said.

Personnel and helicopters were dispatched to manage the fire and Parks Canada closed the Egypt Lake, Redearth Pass and Healy Pass areas as a precaution.

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