MONTE LAKE - Dozens of properties have now been evacuated and B.C. Wildfire crews are responding to a fire that broke out late Wednesday afternoon near Monte Lake, east of Kamloops.
Fire information officer Rachel Witt says the fire is an estimated 100 hectares in size, and highly visible from Highway 97 and nearby communities, including Barnhartvale.
"It is quite an aggressive fire," Witt says. "A tactical evacuation has taken place (and) multiple structures are threatened."
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has declared a state of local emergency due to the rapidly moving fire, named the Martin Mountain Fire.
The regional district has issued evacuation orders and alerts. It's a fast-moving fire and evacuation alerts and notices could change at any moment.
Evacuees are encouraged to go to the Kamloops evacuation centre located at the Sandman Centre.
Go here for a full list of addresses and maps of orders or alerts.
For immediate updates on evacuations, go here or follow @TNRD on Twitter.
For a list of road closures and available detours, go here or follow @DriveBC on Twitter.
The fire is located near Martin Mountain, which is about 1.5 kilometres north of Monte Lake and is currenty burning up the mountain, according to Witt.
Crews are aggressively attacking the blaze from both air and ground, with 31 firefighters on scene and several aircraft.
Highway 97 is closed in both directions near Paxton Valley Road at Monte Lake.
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— With files from Ashley Legassic.
— This story was updated at 6:45 p.m. July 26, 2017 to say a state of local emergency had been declared.
— This story was updated at 7:31 p.m. July 26, 2017 to add more information from the Thompson Nicola Regional District and B.C. Wildfire.
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