Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake

BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake

"The biggest thing is the weather".

Strong winds are reportedly causing the fire to grow.

More than 640 wildfires have broken out since April 1, totaling about 1,310 square kilometres of land. There were more than 180 wildfires burning across the province on Thursday afternoon, concentrated in the central and southern Interior. About 1,800 families were expected to have received a $600 assistance package from the province by the end of Thursday, he added.

"(It's) frustrating and maddening to have to fight the fire and then, fight the conservation officers who are the worst ones -and the police", says Ed Monical.

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Residents of Williams Lake, BC have been told to leave their homes because of a wildfire burning near the community that is being fanned by high winds.

Initially, they planned that Williams Lake residents would go north to Prince George, but Richmond said flames crossed that highway, and the majority of evacuees were diverted south towards Kamloops.

"We had a little bit of rain at the beginning of the week and that lowered the danger rating, but it only takes a day of hot dry weather, and today we saw wind pick up so that dries fuels out really fast as well", Shaughnessy said.

The entire Village of Clearwater is under an evacuation alert.

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When an evacuation alert was issued for Williams Lake on Monday (July 10), many residents began preparing for an exodus. We have always offered to go when called upon because we know how important it is when you have limited resources and little towns that don't have the equipment and personnel.

A Delta staff member and a Delta firefighter have been deployed to Williams Lake where they are assisting the Caribou Regional District Emergency Operations Centre, while six Delta police officers have been deployed to various locations around Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. Of those, more than 5,400 payments have already been issued, Mr. Turner said.

The blaze in Lake Country has grow to 20 hectares in size and is not contained.

John Hawkings, director of recreation sites and trails, said the closure includes 165 campsites and 65 trails in the Cariboo fire centre, in addition to 18 sites outside the centre that were affected by forest fires.

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