Evacuation order given to Williams Lake, BC due to wildfires

Evacuation order given to Williams Lake, BC due to wildfires

Evacuation order given to Williams Lake, BC due to wildfires

Williams Lake is also under evacuation.

"The wind event is gonna be upon us very shortly", said Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for B.C. Wildfire Service.

Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor said residents are understandably anxious about the possible loss of their homes.

Like other First Nations that have defied evacuation recommendations, Mack said they had little choice but to protect their community and save homes.

"Officials in Kamloops are scrambling to pull together any and all resources we can to meet the needs of all evacuees who show up here", he said during a conference call.

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The evacuation order for Williams Lake and surrounding areas was issued around 6 p.m. on Saturday due to high winds that threatened to cut exit routes out of town.

Evacuees from Williams Lake should head towards Prince George.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said he feels heartened after forecast stronger winds failed to materialize earlier this week, giving ground crews time to prepare for the worst.

"What I'm suggesting to people is: If you're going to stay and you're not going to evacuate when you're told to evacuate, make sure you've got your dental records so if you burn up in the fire we can identify you", he said. A few dozen homes remained under evacuation orders for the second fire in the area, burning near Lake Cachuma.

"We all packed, we had a week or so to get ready for this", said LaChance.

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Evacuees are now being directed to the Sandman Centre in downtown Kamloops, where almost 500 cots were set up last night to accommodate the influx of people. For more information on growing fires, visit the BC Wildfire Service. Bond said the pilot escaped without serious injury.

He is not sure where he and his cat will spend the night but was headed to the evacuation centre in Kelowna.

"It's things like that we're trying to do to keep some entertainment happening just to try to give folks a reprieve and take their minds off things for a bit", said Hall.

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.

Earlier, many other Xatsull community members - including children and elders - were evacuated.

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