Structures have been lost to the Gustafsen Lake fire in the South Cariboo, confirms Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond.
“We are fortunate given the fire that they have been somewhat minimal, nevertheless the loss of a home is significant if it is your home,” he says
While he was unable to give details as to where those structures were and how many were lost, wanting to make sure families are contacted first, he says fire crews are doing their best to prevent structure losses.
Sprinkler protection units have been set up on houses and many were left untouched as the fire passed them.
“It’s dependent on fire behaviour, it’s dependent on the makeup of your house,” he says.
“[Crews] were very upset to see a loss of structures,” he says, although he estimated that there were more structures lost in the Williams Lake area than the 103 Mile, 105 Mile and 108 Mile Ranch area.
Right now, he says, crews have been able to secure a good hold on the fire facing the 108 community and are currently working to prevent the fire from jumping the highway at 103 Mile.
“That’s the focus of concern right now,” he says.
There will be an information session for evacuees to be held around 2:30 at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre.
Right now, due to smoke and heat in the area, evacuees are encouraged to head north to Quesnel and Prince George who are set up to take evacuees or head south to the Lower Mainland via Highway 24 and then Highway 5.
Kamloops is unable to handle more evacuees at this time due to fires in the Cache Creek and Ashcroft area.
Anyone with questions as to the state of their house or for evacuation orders are encouraged to call the Cariboo Regional District’s public information line at 250-398-5117 or follow their website or Facebook page for more details.
“All we can do is hope and keep people safe. That’s our main goal here.”