Thursday, 21 September, 2017

BC wildfires could become 'violently aggresive' due to wind

Wildfire burns 29 acres near Clatskanie BC wildfires could become 'violently aggresive' due to wind
Kenny Thornton | 17 July, 2017, 14:01

As we wake up this morning 100 Mile House and Williams Lake have now been evacuated.

"Our thoughts are with all British Columbians dealing with the devastating impacts of these wildfires", Trudeau said in a statement.

The fire escalated quickly, fanned by strong winds and it moved uphill fast, said Steve Windsor, Lake Country's fire chief. "They should be thinking about their life and safety first".

"It's very stressful, we need them to evacuate, we need them to be safe", he said.

According to BC Emergency Management deputy minister Robert Turner, there are now 14,365 evacuees across B.C. Several evacuation orders and alerts have been issued in the past few days; most notably in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

Alek Sharman, whose family owns Tim Hortons in Williams Lake, said just before 7 p.m. that residents were being told there is no immediate danger to the city.

The alerts come as high winds were expected through the Cariboo Fire Centre.

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Three new evacuation orders and three new evacuation alerts have been issued in the last 24 hours, including an order in Loon Lake and an alert for the Village of Clinton, due to to the Ashcroft Reserve fire moving north.

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. We're still trying to save some homes that are in jeopardy right now.

Health officials say there has been an increase in hospital visits for asthma, approximately double the typical amount of visits this time of year.

"We've got a number of beds ready and we're just waiting to talk to the provincial operations group and I think there's a chance we may see some evacuees come", said Hall.

At that meeting, Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount, reported a helicopter had crashed in the Chilcotin area while fighting the fire on Saturday.

Windsor said no one has been seriously hurt by the fire, but some firefighters have been treated for minor injuries. In the event of an evacuation, Reception Centres will be opened if required.

In addition to the emergency department at UHNBC, the city has two clinics staffed by doctors and are available to the estimated 7,000 evacuees now in the city.

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