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Wildfire in west Chilcotin leads to evacuation order for Eliguk Lake

Hot weather, strong winds causing increased fire activity have resulted in an evacuation of area
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A smoke column from the Gatcho Lake Fire towers over the Eliguk Lake Lodge on Aug. 16, one day before an evacuation order was issued for the area for the second time this fire season. (Jennifer Tolland photo - Eliguk Lake Lodge)

An evacuation order has been issued on Aug. 17 at noon for the Eliguk Lake area by the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) as increased fire behaviour challenges firefighters.

Hot weather and strong winds is resulting in increased fire activity across the province and in the Yukon, as fire season continues to stretch resources.

This latest order from the CRD emergency operations centre (EOC) applies to 11 parcels of land and covers 12,104 hectares in the west Chilcotin.

Multiple wildfires in the area are being managed by an incident management team, with the Gatcho Lake Fire estimated at 4,389 ha in size.

Due to immediate danger to life and safety caused by wildfire, members of the RCMP or other groups will be expediting this action, according to the press release from the CRD.

During the last evacuation order near Eliguk Lake, one resort owner stayed behind to fight the fire as it threatened their business.

READ MORE: West Chilcotin lodge owner continues to battle Gatcho Lake wildfire

The release states the evacuation route is to use available forest service roads in the Eliguk Lake area to drive towards the Dean River Road; turn southeast (left) on the Dean River Road; at the junction of the Dean River Road with Highway 20, turn east onto highway 20 and head to Williams Lake.

Evacuees can access Emergency Support Services (ESS) by self-registering using the Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) tool at https://ess.gov.bc.ca/. Evacuees can also call 250-267-1154 to register.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

You must leave the area immediately

Register at the ESS Centre listed above

Close all windows and doors

Do not shut off your natural gas if you receive an evacuation order. For more information visit www.fortisbc.com

Close gates (latch) but do not lock

Gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help

Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.

Do not use more vehicles than you have to.

Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.

YOU MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY

Further information will be issued as it becomes available. Please visit the CRD Emergency Operations Facebook page as well as the CRD website. For more information contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily).

Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders.

READ MORE: ‘Difficult days’: B.C. may be facing worst wildfire conditions of the summer

READ MORE: Immense wildfire smoke causes air quality advisory for B.C. Interior



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Black Press Media Staff

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