Wind gusts of up to 70 km/hour expected in some wildfire zones

18 July, 2017, 06:27 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • White Lake fire gives city a break for now		Streets of Williams Lake mostly empty
	Angie Mindus Mon Jul 17th 2017 8:45pmNews

When the fires initially started, nearly immediately, the community of Xatsull was told they were on their own, but had slowly gathered resources to fight the fires, said Mack.

Earlier in the afternoon Saturday, the forecast high winds that had put nerves on edge began to fan the flames of fires in the Cariboo.

As the wind picks up in Williams Lake, the fire of most concern remains the Hanceville/Chilcotin complex fire - a group of smaller fires burning at an estimated 40,000 hectares in size.

Canada is deploying military aircraft and Australia is sending 50 firefighters to battle rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia that have forced 39,000 people from their homes, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.

He noted that EMBC is gearing up for a "prolonged" wildfire season and 11 emergency reception centres have been opened to handle the flow of evacuees.

Continued dry and windy conditions in British Columbia are worsening the ongoing wildfire crisis, while new evacuation orders were posted this evening for the town of Williams Lake.

Evacuees from Williams Lake are also being accepted there.

Fire crews responded to the fire and there is no increased risk to nearby properties at this time.

James said an NDP government is committed to keeping all politicians in fire-affected areas, including Liberals, as up to date as possible. And she has a warning for anyone in an evacuation alert area. Fifteen of those fires pose an immediate threat to communities, the largest of those is burning near Ashcroft and now covers 423 square kilometres. Many people were displaced and have been staying at evacuation centres in Kamloops.

Several roads in the area have been closed.

On Saturday, evacuation orders were also issued for the remote Clisbako area in the Cariboo region. "How much time depends on whether we have more fires in these communities". My heart especially goes out to the friends and family of the helicopter pilot who was injured in a crash today while fighting to protect B.C. families and communities.

Here is a list of latest numbers for the wildfire situation.

"We all packed, we had a week or so to get ready for this", said LaChance. A little more than half those residents had left voluntarily during an evacuation alert, but the remaining thousands streamed south to Kamloops overnight, a drive that normally takes about three hours taking upward of eight or nine for some. "We are also grateful when others assist us, like they did previous year with the Burns Bog fire".

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