BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake
16 July, 2017, 01:30
The Cariboo Regional District is calling for patience as some evacuees approach a week away from their homes.
After a couple of relatively quiet days, the B.C. wildfire situation is expected to worsen through this weekend.
There are now 167 active fires across BC, and though none of the largest fires threatening homes in Ashcroft, Williams Lake, Little Fort, 100 Mile House and Quesnel are fully contained, Skrepnek says crews have made some progress.
None of the fires in the region are large enough to be causing the smoke that has moved into the area. Fire suppression this season has cost the province $77 million and the bill for supporting evacuees has yet to be tallied.
The provincial government has also been asked to allow some movement on closed sections of Highway 97 so that people who left their homes in Williams Lake and went to Prince George could drive south to Vancouver. An evacuation alert was issued Saturday for the Clisbako area. Officials have not said how many people are affected.
In the Chilcotin region, fires burning in Hanceville, west of Williams Lake, are now covering an estimated 40,000 hectares, forcing evacuations in several communities.
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Meanwhile, Skrepnek discouraged people entering the backcountry. Officials there are saying the fire is still 20 per cent contained.
Evacuation alerts and orders have been pouring in since May 19, 2017, with the most recent one as of Monday, July 10, 2017 for Princeton, Cariboo, and McBride Road in the Fraser-Fort George areas.
"Given the proximity of existing wildfires to communities, infrastructure and transportation corridors, people throughout the Cariboo region and the southern Interior should be prepared for potential evacuations", the government states.
"Unfortunately, significant rain continues to elude the southern half of the province for the foreseeable future", Environment Canada says.
The BC Wildfire Service said it's taken steps to help ground crews fight some of the fires, by burning a safe perimeter around a 2,600-hectare blaze near 150 Mile House.
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