Fire evacuation affects 3600 in central BC

The Pioneer Fire approaches the South Fork of the Payette River in 2016. The wildfire cost more than $95 million and took several months to put out

Open fire ban in effect across Coastal region

District Director Al Richmond said that changes in wind direction and the threat of heavy smoke caused the Cariboo Regional District to order the evacuation of people between 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House.

The district said the B.C. Wildfire Service, RCMP and Princeton Fire Service are on scene.

The wildfire near 100 Mile House in the southern Cariboo region has been spreading fast, forcing a number of people out of their homes and putting more on evacuation alert.

Taking into account the logistical challenges of evacuating [so many], we must begin the process now, secure the community and make sure everyone is safe, rather than having to do that tonight.

Coastal Fire had previously suspected the fire had grown to 20 hectares in size, but this turned out to be not the case.

Interior Health said the 100 Mile District General Hospital, two residential care sites and an assisted living facility were also evacuated.

"There were flames right in the ditch on both sides (for) roughly about two kilometres", he said.

It is an interface fire, meaning that structures have been impacted and tactical evacuations are underway.

But there's no word if there has been any property damage since the fire expanded on Friday.

"The fire has burned past them and those structures are still in place, so those units. protected those homes for those folks", he said. "Hopefully we will be able to do a better job today".

"The fire danger ratings across the Cariboo Fire Centre are now high to extreme, with the exception of a small pocket of moderate fire danger rating in the far north of the fire centre", fire information officer Natasha Brosnitsky said.

Chief Joe Alphonse of the Tl'etinqox First Nation said most of the community's 1,000 residents escaped farther west.

For more information on B.C. road closures, visit Drive BC.

Thirty-three homes in the direct path of the fire were ordered to evacuate shortly after the fire started.

"Given the size of the fire that they're dealing with, this is going to be not just a temporary move".

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