BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake


BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake

Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond said that the reason for the evacuation was not because the City of Williams Lake was in any imminent danger but because of the potential for the fires to cut off the access out of the City.

He's not leaving, and you can't make him.

An evacuation order was given Saturday night for the city and surrounding areas including the village of 150 Mike House.

Officials thought the community might have escaped the raging wildfires after crews took advantage of a few relatively quiet days to to build some containment lines around the fires.

The alert extends the existing alert in the area from Forest Grove to the east boundary of area H, north to the south side of Canim Lake and includes the south side of Mahood Lake.

Lucy Lorenzetto, who fled her home in Williams Lake overnight, stood outside clutching a blue blanket, a plastic bag full of toiletries and a paper cup full of coffee.

Cariboo Regional District Chairman Al Richmond said that the flames had not reached Williams Lake on Sunday, but he and the mayor chose to issue the evacuation order because the fire threatened to cut exit routes. The city said buses were positioned in 12 areas of the city for people who did not have their own vehicle available.

Parks Canada says the fire was spotted in the Verdant Creek area of Kootenay National Park on Saturday morning and has grown since then.

University Hospital of Northern B.C. spokesperson Steve Raper said the city's hospital has opened additional spaces to be able to accept any additional hospitalized patients from the Williams Lake evacuation. "I guess we've got to head south. Kamloops is a place I didn't want to go".

Kevin Skrepnek, B.C.'s chief fire information officer, said gusty winds were expected to trigger extreme and violently aggressive fire behaviour.

In one instance, water from a kiddie pool was used to extinguish a fire on a lawn.

"The number of firefighters is due in part that they are timed out". For more information on growing fires, visit the BC Wildfire Service.

Several roads in the area have been closed.

Mack's three children have been evacuated, two of them to Prince George.

The province has reminded evacuees to register with the Canadian Red Cross and, if they need lodging or food, to register at emergency social services reception centres as well.

Other evacuees have found refuge with friends and family and people who have opened their homes to them.