B.C. orders more people to evacuate as wildfire situation deteriorates

ASHCROFT, B.C. — Angie Thorne hugged her granddaughter as she looked for the first time at the blackened pit where her home of 21 years had stood just days earlier.

She and a caravan of friends and family drove up to the Ashcroft Indian Reserve on Sunday to see what remained after a wildfire engulfed the community in central British Columbia, just west of Kamloops.

“We made many memories here,” Thorne said, falling silent as tears streamed from behind her sunglasses.

She gestured to where she and her husband celebrated their silver wedding anniversary the summer before, then pointed out the lopsided picnic table her sons built 15 years earlier, somehow untouched by the flames.

“Everybody complained about it and it’s still sitting there,” she said, letting out a laugh.

“You couldn’t get in or out of it. But they built it so we kept it, because that’s what we do, right?”

Most of the homes on the reserve were destroyed by the Ashcroft wildfire, one of hundreds still burning out of control across the province’s southern and central Interior.

More than 7,000 people had been ordered to evacuate by Sunday evening, and emergency officials predicted that number would likely rise as gusty winds and hot, dry conditions continue to fan the flames of more than 220 fires that have destroyed an area covering at least 230 square kilometres.

Late Sunday, an evacuation order was issued for 100 Mile House, home to more than 1,500 people.

Back at Thorne’s property in Ashcroft, her granddaughter at one point let out a squeal: “Mittens!”

The family’s seven-month-old cat had survived, her blackened whiskers singed and curled from the heat.

“Bigger and better, eh babe?” Thorne said to her husband, surveilling the damage.

He squeezed her shoulder: “We’ll rebuild.”

Just Posted

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month