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Canim Lake fire grows to 700 ha; evacuation alert expands in Cariboo

Alert ‘precaution’ due to the predicted winds, thunderstorms
The Canim Lake fire grew to 700 hectares overnight Sunday, and has prompted an expanded evacuation alert. (Martina Dopf - 100 Mile Free Press)

The Cariboo Regional District has expanded an evacuation alert in the Canim Lake and Forest Grove area Monday afternoon, July 5, due to the 700-hectare Canim Lake fire.

The alert applies to Canim Lake Area #2, which stretches along the southwestern edge of Canim Lake west to Bryce Road and south to Pappas Road in Forest Grove. An existing evacuation alert for the southeast end of Canim Lake and the Canim Lake Band has been in place since Friday.

Cariboo Regional District Chair Margo Wagner, who also represents Forest Grove-Canim Lake, said the alert will now cover the whole of Eagle creek road, Hawkins lake, Ruth Lake and the bulk of Forest Grove.

“This is as a precaution due to the predicted weather forecast of erratic winds and thunderstorms,” Wagner said in a newsletter to her constituents. “Please take this time to prepare for a possible evacuation order, should it become necessary.”

Residents on evacuation alert are asked to prepare themselves and their property should they be required to leave on short notice.

The Canim Lake fire, which has been burning on the hillside at the southeast end of Canim Lake since last Wednesday, is one of five “fires of note” in the Cariboo Fire Centre.

BCWS information officer Jessica Mack said the steep terrain and elevated winds late Sunday contributed to the increased fire activity, but noted that the growth was directed away from the community at the bottom of the hillside.

“The BC Wildfire Service has completed an aerial assessment this morning and the heavy-lift helicopter and air tankers will be responding to this wildfire today.

More to come.

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