UPDATE (Aug 10 at 9 a.m.): Emergency Support Services has moved its evacuation reception centre to the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School, at 200 7 St, in 100 Mile House, on the morning of Friday, Aug. 10.
Emily Epp the communication manager for the Cariboo Regional District clarified that 57 properties (22 house points) remain within the evacuated area.
“We use properties because it seems to be the easiest to convey. There’s actually 22 house points, but the way our mapping works in rural areas is that not everybody’s signed up for a civic address and that’s what translates to a house point and sometimes, if someone has a cabin or something, it’s hard to say. They might not have a house point, so that’s why we go with the 57 properties.”
Epp said two people registered with ESS in 100 Mile House last night and they expect more will evacuate the area today.
“We are keeping a close eye on that fire with BC Wildfire,” she said,” and we’re expecting increased fire behaviour on a lot of fires today with the wind. So we’ll be watching that area closely.”
When asked whether nearby areas would be put on alert, she said, “At this point we don’t have a solid sense of what the day might bring, but we’re definitely keeping a close eye and there could be some changes today definitely if the fire activity warns it.”
As for the standing evacuation order affecting 57properties on Houseman Road, “There’s been no changes,” said ESS volunteer Betsy Herring.
After few people registered with the ESS last night, she speculated that people may have chosen to remain at home because of large animals or farm equipment.
“That is their choice, right. The firemen and RCMP, they know that they’ve made that choice,” she said.
For evacuees headed to the reception centre, she said, “The biggest thing is when people are evacuated they need to make sure they bring their paperwork and stuff that is irreplacable right away.”
She encouraged people to try to remain calm at this stressful time.
UPDATE (Aug. 9 at 9:52 p.m.): BC Wildfire Service has updated the size of the Houseman wildfire that caused the evacuation order for parts of Houseman Road to 12 hectares.
Air tankers worked on this fire, located north of Horse Lake Ridge, today and continue to support the crews, aircraft and heavy equipment currently on site.
This fire is highly visible from the surrounding area.
#Cariboo update: There has been increased #BCwildfire activity due to weather conditions for several of the fires within the #100MileHouse Fire Zone today. Please see the screencap below for more details. pic.twitter.com/SLoKeziKT6
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 10, 2018
UPDATE (Aug. 9 at 7:40 p.m.): The evacuation was caused by wildfire C42363. Its size is currently estimated at 0.1 hectares by the Cariboo Fire Centre but Emily Epp, communication manager of the Cariboo Regional District, said the size was incorrect and will be updated shortly.
UPDATE (Aug. 9 at 7:00 p.m.): The Cariboo Regional District has officially issued an evacuation order for part of Houseman Road area.
The evacuation order is for 57 properties.
“The BC Wildfire Service did a tactical evacuation earlier today because of that wildfire (C42363) for a couple properties in that area but we are following up now with an evacuation order because of the concerns about that wildfire in that area,” said Epp.
As per the release, members of the RCMP or other groups will be expediting the evacuation. The Evacuation route is Kaluza Road and/or Houseman Road to Canim-Hendrix Lake Road to 100 Mile House.
Evacuated residents should register with Emergency Support Services at the Community Hall at 240 Third St. in 100 Mile House.
Evac order issued for Houseman Road area, about 12 km NE of 100 Mile. ESS Centre at the 100 Mile Community Hall. Evac route via Kaluza Rd and/or Houseman Rd to Canim-Hendrix Lake Rd to 100 Mile. More info: https://t.co/A2VTKd1X9v pic.twitter.com/BAktIMeHrk
— CRD (@CaribooRD) August 10, 2018
All the people in the area according to the map below must leave the area immediately. They are advised by the CRD to: close all windows and doors, shut off all gas and electrical appliances (except refrigerators and freezers, close all gates (latch but do not lock), gather family and neighbours who need assistance, take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, keys), take pets on leash or in kennels, do not use more vehicles than you have to and not use the phone unless emergency services are needed.
Residents of Houseman Road in Forest Grove have been evacuated and directed to go to the 100 Mile House Community Hall at roughly 5 p.m. on Aug. 9.
“We have been tasked with opening a reception centre by the CRD (Cariboo Regional District) and at this point,” said Liz Jones, the director of Emergency Support Services in 100 Mile House. “At this stressful time, this is the time to look at your household items and say what can I live with and what I can live without; put that paperwork in order, get that grab-and-go bag ready. It will “
She went on to confirm that so far only 19 families have been given the order.
“It’s scary out here, there is smoke everywhere and everybody’s angst is up and their spidey sense is going,” said Jones. “Every whiff that goes by in a different colour is scary and the aeroplanes going by are winding people up.”
People who want to help, Jones said they can come down and she will find a job for them. People can always put together bags and bring them down to the hall as well.
“I cannot confirm how many people were evacuated. My understanding was a limited number of properties were tactically evacuated in this area. The BC Wildfire Service is actively working with the Cariboo Regional District. This fire was actioned by Tankers today. There are 15 firefighters on site, aircraft overhead and equipment is en route,” said Robyn Clarke, fire information assistant at the BC Wildfire Service.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information comes.