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giftedviz.com July 23, 2017


High winds add to danger of BC state of emergency

17 July 2017, 01:58 | Darnell Patrick

Cots are set up for evacuees at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops

Cots are set up for evacuees at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops

That's according to the city's Mayor Walt Cobb, who said the winds have proved challenging for fire crews.

Over 14,000 people remain out of their homes because of evacuation orders while thousands more in central and southern B.C. have been warned to be ready to leave on short notice.

Over 100 of the Williams Lake evacuees fled to Vernon Saturday to seek emergency lodging, but Penticton has only checked in about 15 people.

Frank Bellerose was hoping the winds of change in Williams Lake would not bring wildfire smoke his way.

As emergency-management officials work to find new space in the Tournament Capital for large-scale temporary lodging, Stone said the city is nearly full. "I guess we've got to head south. Kamloops is a place I didn't want to go".

Health officials say there has been an increase in hospital visits for asthma, approximately double the typical amount of visits this time of year.

"(It's) frustrating and maddening to have to fight the fire and then, fight the conservation officers who are the worst ones -and the police", says Ed Monical. Many people were displaced and have been staying at evacuation centres in Kamloops.

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Residents who are unable to leave on their own are asked to go to one of 12 muster points in the Williams Lake, where transportation is available. The evacuation order also includes: Areas east of the Frasier River from the existing evacuation order at Soda Creek to 9.0 km (5.5 miles) south of the Sheep Creek Bridge, including English Road.

The fire is now assessed at 35 per cent contained.

"Discarded cigarettes, abandoned campfires, irresponsible use of off-road vehicles" are the main causes of human-caused fires, Skrepnek said.

Roughly 12,000 people live in the city, while another 12,000 live in the surrounding areas.

An evacuation order was issued for the Loon Lake area on Friday. A 45-sqauare-mile fire was 70 percent contained, allowing for all evacuations to be canceled.

Overnight, Lake Country firefighters are being supported on the ground with fire crews and equipment from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Ellison, Joe Rich, Armstrong, BX Swan Lake and the BC Wildfire Service.

Evacuees should report to the emergency reception centre at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.



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