UPDATE: Aggressive Murray Lake fire partially contained

An aggressive fire near Murray Lake has prompted an evacuation order of all properties adjacent to the lake.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - An aggressive fire south of Merritt near Murray Lake is now 30 per cent contained, though an evacuation order for all properties adjacent to the lake remains.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District issued the state of emergency and evacuation order around 9 p.m. Wednesday due to the potential threat.

The evacuation order covers all properties adjacent to Murray Lake (about 35) and the district has ordered everyone to evacuate the following areas immediately:
 - From the southeast boundary, the intersection of Maka-Murray Forest Service Road and the Coquihalla Highway.
 - Travelling approximately 4 km northeast along the Coquihalla Highway.
 - North to the northeast corner of Section 12, Township 10, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.
 - West to the northwest corner of Section 12, Township 10, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.
 - The southwest corner of Section 23, Township 9, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.

Permanent residents in the described area are asked to contact Jason Tomlin at 250-819-4105, jtomlin@tnrd.ca.

It is also suggested that evacuees take all critical items and pets with them and turn off the power and propane to their residences, close all windows and doors and turn off all unnecessary appliances. Unplug sensitive equipment such as computers and televisions and turn off all lights except one outside light (so B.C. Hydro crews know the power is on.)

Do not turn off your natural gas meter or use the telephone unless you need emergency service.

The fire, which has grown to 450 hectares from 30 ha on Tuesday afternoon, saw B.C. Wildfire pull crews from the scene because of the danger earlier in the week. As of Saturday 35 firefighters, five helicopters and nine pieces of heavy equipment worked to contain the fire, along with support staff and air tanker support. The fire was discovered Monday and is believed to be lightning caused.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 10:12 a.m., July 18, 2014.

— This story was updated at 6:41 a.m., July 20, 2014.

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