A wildfire burning near the Ashcroft community forced the evacuation of dozens of properties Saturday night, as crews continued to fight more than 300 fires around BC.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District expanded an evacuation order to include a total of 110 properties in Election Area “I” (Blue Sky Country) due to the Tremont Creek wildfire. The district has placed another 675 properties in the area and Election Area “J” (Copper Desert Country) on evacuation alert.
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The Tremont Creek fire is currently located about 8.5 kilometers southeast of Ashcroft and has increased to 5,000 acres. Hot, dry conditions coupled with strong winds prompted firefighters to stay overnight.
The town of Ashcroft and the Ashcroft Indian Band have also issued evacuation alerts due to the fire.
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The Tremont Creek fire is just one of 37 fires large or dangerous enough to be classified as a “notable wildfire” throughout the province.
As of Sunday, 20 evacuation orders and 51 other evacuation alerts were in effect due to fires around BC.
Several of those serious fires are burning in the Kamloops area, including the massive 45,000-hectare Lake Sparks fire, which has forced nearly 300 people from their homes. It stayed out of control on Sunday but has seen little growth in recent days.
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To the northwest, crews continued to fight several persistent fires near 100 Mile House in the Cariboo region.
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On Friday, Interior Health took steps to begin proactively evacuating residents from long-term care and assisted living facilities in the 100 Mile House district, moving nearly 120 people.
The 14,000 hectare Flat Lake Fire, burning west of the community, forced residents of the Lake Gustafsen and Lake Neilson area from their homes Saturday afternoon.
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Some ranchers in the area have defied evacuation orders and have chosen to stay and try to protect their own property.
“My grandfather saved this place in the 1920s with a horse and cow hides. So I’m sure we can do it with your support and the machinery that we have, ”rancher Keith Cunningham told Global News.
“We have a lot of equipment on hand, so we feel quite comfortable, unless they criticize us.”
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Not far away, Canim Lake residents also defied evacuation orders as a persistent fire continued to burn on the lake’s south shore.
“This fire continues. He was almost under control, then they left him alone, then he got out of control again. Now he’s going through a whole mountain, ”resident Randy Brauer told Global News on Friday.
Structural protection teams have installed dozens of water pumps and sprinklers to soak houses in hopes of preventing them from catching fire.
As of Sunday, the Canim Lake fire was classified as “active,” while crews worked on building fire watches and attacked the southwest corner of the fire.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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