Fire evacuation continues in B.C.

Residents chased from their homes by a wild fire in the B.C. Interior are itching to get back to their properties

VANCOUVER — Residents chased from their homes by a wild fire in the B.C. Interior are itching to get back to their properties

It’s been more than a week since some evacuees have seen their homes or businesses near the Tyaughton Lake forest fire, about 65 kilometres west of Lillooet.

Several of the 75 people who either live or own businesses in the evacuated communities threatened by fire are pushing the regional district to lift the evacuation order.

District information officer Leslie Lloyd said evacuees want to know when they can return.

“We’re certainly getting messages from residents and businesses in those areas who are anxious to know if and when it’s possible to get back to their homes and property and daily life and business.”

Fire crews have about half of the 80-square-kilometre fire contained and have placed sprinkler systems around many of the threatened residential properties.

Lloyd said officials will re-evaluate the evacuation orders in the next few days with an eye towards downgrading the order to an evacuation alert, but only if fire conditions remain the same or improve.

The communities of Marshall Lake, Liza Lake, Carol Lake, Mud Creek, Tyaughton Lake and Gun Creek Road remain on evacuation order. Despite that order, Lloyd said seven people refused to leave the danger area.

Fire crews are making headway on the other major fire in the province near the B.C.-Yukon border.

The Smith River fire is about 230 square kilometres in size.

B.C. fire information officer Jillian Chimko said crews are working along the west flank of the fire hoping to stop the flames from jumping a nearby highway and moving into communities.

“They have been doing some burn-off procedures in the area in order to increase the fuel-free area.”

The fire is considered about 30 per cent contained.

Three communities with a total population of about 15 people are on evacuation alert.

Chimko said a fresh shift of provincial firefighters and crews from Ontario have been brought in to help with the exhausting effort. The terrain in the area is very difficult to access, which is why crews haven’t been able to get the upper hand on the fire, Chimko said. It’s hot and windy in the area, but there was a small amount of rain Friday night that gave some relief.

The fire season started early in B.C. and the provincial forest minister says it’s getting expensive.

Pat Bell said it has cost government about $15 million so far this spring to fight the fires.

“The really disturbing part of all this is 84 per cent of the fires in B.C. so far have been human caused,” Bell said.

Just Posted

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

Red Deer RCMP look for fraud suspect

Red Deer RCMP are looking for public assistance to identify a fraud… Continue reading

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

WATCH: Red Deer man shaves beard for Mustard Seed

‘I have spent 30 years of my life being addicted to both alcohol and drugs’

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

DETROIT — Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning “Queen of Soul” who sang with… Continue reading

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

GENOA, Italy — The death toll from the collapse of a highway… Continue reading

US newspapers to Trump: We’re not enemies of the people

NEW YORK — Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President… Continue reading

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid accused of giving award to purveyor of anti-Semitism

OTTAWA — A Liberal MP is under fire for presenting a ”certificate… Continue reading

Ottawa intervenes to get 13-year-old ball player to Little League World Series

OTTAWA — Thirteen-year-old Dio Gama will get to play baseball in the… Continue reading

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