Williams Lake and surrounding area under evacuation order due to wildfires

White Lake fire gives city a break for now		Streets of Williams Lake mostly empty
	Angie Mindus Mon Jul 17th 2017 8:45pmNews

White Lake fire gives city a break for now Streets of Williams Lake mostly empty Angie Mindus Mon Jul 17th 2017 8:45pmNews

2,900 people are fighting the fires, with 203 aircraft assisting ground crews.

Emergency Management BC deputy minister Robert Turner said that 80 per cent of those who have registered for aid have received it, for a total of 5471 payments.

"It was refreshing for me to get into Prince George. and breathe the fresh air instead of the smoke-filled air we are experiencing here in the Cariboo", he said on Friday.

Kevin Skrepnek, B.C.'s chief fire information officer, had warned at 1 p.m. Saturday that gusty winds would set off extreme and violently aggressive fire behaviour.

"In a few cases, it is because we had amalgamated some of these fires together", he said. Highways has to assess the roads - do we have any problems - and those things will take time.

Henry is urging people to keep an eye on symptoms of stress including having an upset stomach, feeling confused or having difficulty sleeping.

Power has been turned back on in the 103, the 108 and Lac la Hache, which Richmond says is one of the first steps to allowing people back into their homes.

On Saturday, the 11,000 residents of Williams Lake were forced to abandon their homes and spend hours stuck in traffic jams on the only evacuation route still open from their town, surrounded by flames in the middle of the night.

Unit crews began lighting controlled fires west of Williams Lake on Thursday, where almost 11,000 people have been on standby since Monday to evacuate at a moment's notice.

Evacuees from Williams Lake are also being accepted there. Telus wants to go in and check their infrastructure. They headed south in a long, slow moving convoy to reception centres in Kamloops.

"I packed all my mementos, pictures, my marriage certificate, my wills, everything". "Many don't know the condition of their house or what they will need when they return home", she says. "We have only one way to go, and that's south to Kamloops".

Location of the Harrison Lake fire on the east side of the lake.

The City of Williams Lake and several surrounding areas have been ordered to evacuate.

Wind can spread wildfires further afar by lifting sparks out of previously contained zones into fresh new ones.

Lightning and strong winds are in the forecast and could fuel the dozens of fires burning across the province, three of which surround Williams Lake.

RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said that 5,000 officers are helping out with the wildfire efforts and preparing for evacuation alerts to potentially turn in to orders.

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