A forest fire burning near the Ashcroft community forced the evacuation of many properties Saturday night as crews continued to fight more than 300 fires around BC.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District extended an evacuation order to include a total of 110 properties in constituency “I” (Blue Sky Country) due to Tremont Creek wildfire. The district has put an additional 675 properties in the area and in the constituency “J” (Copper Desertland) on evacuation alarm.
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The Tremont Creek fire is currently about 8.5 miles southeast of Ashcroft and has grown to 5,000 acres in size. Heat and dry conditions along with strong winds caused the firefighters to remain on site through the night.
The village of Ashcroft and the Ashcroft Indian Band have also issued evacuation alarms due to the fire.
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The Tremont Creek fire is just one of 37 fires large or dangerous enough to be classified as an “ongoing fire” across the province.
As of Sunday, 20 evacuation orders and a further 51 evacuation alarms were in place due to fires around BC.
Emergency Management BC said Sunday that living spaces for evacuees in the wilderness were filling up, urging people to prepare contingency plans before possible evacuations. It also encouraged people who were self-evacuated due to smoke to return home.
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Several of the serious fires are burning in the Kamloops area, including the massive 45,000-acre fire from Sparks Lake that has forced nearly 300 people from their homes. It remained out of control Sunday, but has seen some growth in recent days.
To the northwest, crews continued to fight several stubborn fires near the 100 Mile House in the Cariboo region.
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On Friday, Interior Health moved to begin proactively evacuating residents from long-term care and assistance facilities in the District of 100 Mile House, moving nearly 120 people.
The 14,000-acre fire in Flat Lake that burned west of the community forced residents of Gustafsen Lake and the Neilson Lake area from their homes Saturday afternoon.
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Some ranchers in the area have defied evacuation orders and have instead chosen to stay and try to protect their own property.
“My grandfather saved this place in the 1920s with a horse and cowhide. So I’m sure we can do that with their support and the machinery we have, ”Rancher Keith Cunningham told Global News.
“We have lots of equipment on hand, so we feel pretty comfortable unless they burn against us.”
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Not far away, Canim Lake residents also defied evacuation orders as a stubborn fire continued to burn on the lake’s south shore.
“It simply came to our notice then. It was almost under control, so they left it alone, then it just went out of control again. Now it reaches just over an entire mountain, ”resident Randy Brauer told Global News on Friday.
Structure protection crews have set up dozens of water pumps and sprinklers to suck home in hopes of preventing them from igniting.
As of Sunday, the Canim Lake fire was classified as “active” while crews worked to build firefighters and attack the southwest corner of the fire.
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