Assistance for those affected, along with praise for those fighting it are pouring in as a wildfire west of 100 Mile House continues to grow and is now estimated to be 1,500 hectares.

Santino Marazzo is a rancher in Horsefly who is offering up his 60 acres for livestock owners.

“I feel really bad, we feel really bad about the fire and there are those of us that offer our land up for free for those that may have stock that needs to be moved, to come here and put them here for water and hay.”

Marazzo says he wants people of 100 Mile House to know that there are people in Horsefly and the surrounding areas who would accommodate them or their animals. He says he is also offering a place to stay with or without animals on his farm if they have a camper or trailer for free.

120 firefighters are currently on scene of the blaze which this morning was an estimated 1,200 hectares.

“The efforts of the 108 Department last night to put up some sprinkler protection units on Abel Lake. The fire is actually past those properties and the homes are intact because of those sprinkler units,” said Chair of the Cariboo Regional District Al Richmond Friday morning.

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett also offered her praise of crews as well as the CRD and says the coordination, how they know where to go, and what to is totally organized and just amazing.

The fire as Friday, July 7 at 3 pm is estimated to be 1,500 hectares in size and is expected to grow substantially in the next hours and the amount of growth is dependent on weather and wind conditions.

“Given the weather forecast and the outlook for today, we do anticipate that it’s going to be another challenging day out there,” says Fire Information Officer Kevin Shrepnek.

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has expanded the Evacuation area for the Gustafson North FSR fire.  The total evacuation area includes approximately 2050 properties on the west side of Highway 97 between the northern boundary of 100 Mile House and the northern tip of Lac La Hache.

The CRDalso issued an Evacuation Alert for approximately 220 properties on the east side of Highway 97 in the Lac La Hache area.

(*Editor’s Note: Contact information for Santino Marazzo is available by contacting the author of this report.)