Homes evacuated in Lake Country

Evacuees arrive in Kamloops after slow drive from Williams Lake

Evacuees arrive in Kamloops after slow drive from Williams Lake

When an evacuation alert was issued for Williams Lake on Monday (July 10), many residents began preparing for an exodus.

But there was no way to avoid it Saturday evening; the wind shifted and within a few hours he got the news he has been fearing all week.

Hall spoke at a town hall meeting Saturday night at UNBC and had hoped to have Mark Hamm, deputy fire centre manager for the Cariboo Fire Centre on hand to provide an update of the fire situation but Hamm was in Williams Lake helping his family evacuate. However windy conditions Saturday fuelled the flames and led to the Evacuation Order. The provincial authorities are on alert and may order new evacuations on the weekend. The alert covers the entire District of Clearwater with the exception of the Canfor Vavenby mill site and the Yellowhead Mines property. "If you are able to go to one of those other centres, that would be very much appreciated".

Like other First Nations that have defied evacuation recommendations, Mack said they had little choice but to protect their community and save homes.

Geoff Paynton, director of communications for the Williams Lake emergency operations centre, said there was enough food and gasoline in the city as trucks were getting through.

"I think basically, Mother Nature is sort of bringing forward our worst case scenario", Richmond said.

Windsor confirmed "numerous homes" had been lost.

Mack stressed it was the community directing and doing the firefighting, although they were co-ordinating their efforts with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

While the Southeast Fire Centre hasn't had a major fire event, the BC Interior has been dealing with major fire events in the communities of Ashcroft, Williams Lake, Princeton, 100 Mile House, Quesnel and more.

"I'm not too anxious", Mr. Baker said.

"We came together, we'll leave together", he said.

But, Stone said, no evacuees will be turned away from Kamloops.

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. "Most of those who have evacuated have not registered". That fire is now approximately 80 per cent contained and evacuees were directed to the Salvation Army Church in Kelowna at 1480 Sutherland Ave. "We're expecting [wind] right across southern B.C".

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