May 13, 2013 - 7:43 AM
UPDATE: 2:43 p.m. May 13, 2013
Thompson-Nicola Regional District has distributed an update of the evacuation notice for the area south of Ashcroft.
The new Evacuation Order, issued at 1:30 p.m., Monday, May 13, now encompasses the area from the intersection of Highway 97C and Barnes Lake Road, including all properties on Barnes Lake Road, YD Ranch Road and Studhorse Road.
UPDATE: 10:03 a.m. May 13
The Spatsum Creek wildfire is now at an estimated 1400 Ha and though 50 properties are affected by the evacuation order with approximately 120 to 125 people expected to register, only 20 have registered so far according to authorities. Those operating the Emergency Social Services Reception Centre at the Cache Creek Community Hall at 1270 Stage Road say they understand many will seek shelter with family and friends, however they still want them to register they have evacuated the zone.
Smoke from the fire can be seen from the highway leading into Ashcroft. The town itself is still open. There are six helicopters and seven pieces of heavy equipment currently at the scene helping firefighters battle the blaze.
Winds are blowing the fire towards 97C. One structure was consumed by fire yesterday. It's believe it was an outbuilding.
UPDATE: 7:33 a.m. May 13
The Spatsum Creek wildfire grew to 1,100-hectares on Sunday. Dozens of evacuations have been ordered and DriveBC shows Hwy 97C is closed in both directions from Ashcroft to the Highland Valley Mine Overpass. Crews will continue to assess the situation along the highway, which will remain closed until further notice.
UPDATE: 9:42 p.m. May 12
Evacuations have begun in the Spatsum Creek wildfire near Barnes Lake as the Thompson-Nicola Regional District declares a local state of emergency.
The following areas are being evacuated immediately:
• Northeast of Barnes Lake including all properties on Barnes Lake Road, YD
Ranch Rd and Studhorse Road
• From the north tip of Barnes Lake, west to the Thompson River (excluding
the Village of Ashcroft), south along the Thompson River to the southern end
of Basque (as shown on the attached map), east to Highway 97 and north to
the north tip of Barnes Lake.
If you are in these areas, you must leave immediately and report to the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception Centre at the Cache Creek Community Hall located at 1270 Stage Road. Evacuees are to travel north along Highway 97C to the intersection of the Trans Canada and north to Cache Creek. BC via Trans Canada Highway 1. It is also suggested that evacuees turn off the power and propane to their residences.
The ESS is open until midnight tonight and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information, visit the regional district's website.
UPDATE: 3:50 p.m. May 12
A wildfire at Spatsum Creek that began April 27 and was considered 75 per cent contained as of Friday afternoon has grown nearly 350 per cent today as strong, gusty winds fueled the fire overnight.
Kamloops Fire Centre now has 80 firefighters, five helicopters, heavy equipment and air tankers actively working at containing the 850-Ha fire. The fire, which is considered human-caused, has challenged crews as it grew from 100 hectares to 240 hectares due to steep, rocky terrain and above-normal temperatures this week. It is one of four active fires of note in the region.
As of Sunday morning an evacuation alert has has been issued for an area within five kilometres north of the wildfire, west of Hwy 97C.
The fire is in the vicinity of Basque and poses an imminent threat to people and property. Due to the potential danger to life and health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for the following areas:
Northeast of Barnes Lake, including all properties on Barnes Lake Road, YD Ranch Rd and Studhorse Rd. and from the north tip of Barnes Lake, west to the Thompson River, south along the Thompson River to the south end of Oregon Jack Creek IR #4, east to Highway 97 and North to the north tip of Barnes Lake, including 2000 Highway 97C to 2345 Highway 97C.
The alert for Drinkwater Road is still in effect.
An evacuation alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises and property should it be found necessary. Residents will be given as much advance warning as possible prior to the evacuation; however you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN AN ALERT IS IN EFFECT
Locate all family members and be prepared to evacuate your residence and property to an identified safe reception center.
Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (insurance), photographs and immediate care needs for dependants.
Area residents requiring additional information may contact the TNRD at 250-377-7188.
Wildfires can be reported by dialing *5555 on your cellular phone or toll-free at 1-800-663-5555.
For more information:
To contact a reporter for this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call(250)819-3723.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013