A crew member fights one of the numerous aggressive 2017 wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre. (supplied by BC Wildfire Service)
UPDATE – 7:25PM:
An evacuation order for the City of Williams Lake has officially been ordered due to threats to the highways leaving the city.
For people leaving Williams Lake, the evacuation route is Highway 97 south to Highway 24 east, continuing on Highway 5 towards Kamloops.
According to BC RCMP, vehicles will not be stopping in 100 Mile House, and Mounties are encouraging all motorists to drive carefully and responsibly
Residents who cannot drive can go to muster points throughout Williams Lake, including:
- Glendale School, 4100 Mackenzie Avenue North
- Comer Pub Parking Lot, 2015 MacKenzie Ave North
- Columneetza High School Parking Lot, 1045 Western Avenue
- BC Hydro Parking Area, 835 Second Ave North
- WLSS High School, 640 Carson Drive
- Save-On-Foods Parking Lot, 730 Oliver Street
- Overlander Hotel Parking Area, 1118 Lakeview Crescent
- Tourism Discover Centre, 1660 Broadway Avenue South
- Church Parking Lot, 26 Woodland Drive
- Golf Course Parking Lot, 104 Fairview Drive
- Church Parking Lot, 377 Hodgson Road
- Across the Wal-Mart Park, 1265 South Lakeside Drive
- Kwaleen Elementary Parking Lot, 1727 South Lakeside Drive
ORIGINAL STORY – 6PM::
An Evacuation Order has been issued for Williams Lake and the following areas in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD):
- All areas east of the Fraser River from evacuation order in Soda Creek to nine-kilometres south of Sheep Creek Bridge, including English Road
- East to the southern end of Chimney Lake, continuing east to Wright Station Road at the north end of Lac La Hache
- All areas west of Highway 97 from Wright Station Road to Williams Lake City limits, north along Highway 97, including all fringe areas of the City, areas of Fox Mountain, Pine Valley, Commodore Crescent, Glendale, Wildwood, Bull Mountain and Deep Creek not already evacuated, to the exiting evacuation order area at Soda Creek
“This means that all individuals in the City and the above areas must evacuate immediately,” says the City of Williams Lake and CRD in a statement.
Residents are being asked to follow Highway 97 south to Highway 24 (south of 100 Mile House), follow Highway 24 to Little Fort, turn right onto Highway 5, and continue to Kamloops to register at the ESS Centre located at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
The City of Williams Lake has activated 12 zones within its boundaries, each of which has a muster point.
There are no muster points in any of the surrounding areas, but residents who are unable to self-evacuate must make their way to the locations immediately as buses departing the City cannot wait indefinitely.
If residents are unable to get to a muster point, please call the RCMP at (250) 392-6211 immediately.
If you do not call, there is no way to know that you require assistance.
Evacuation Muster Zone Maps and other emergency information are available on the City’s website.
When you evacuate, you’re asked to:
- Turn off water, gas, and electricity
- Take an emergency survival kit (battery powered radio, flashlight, water, food, warm clothing)
- Take identification and prescription medicine for family (and pets)
- Listen to the radio and follow instructions from local emergency officials
- Lock up your home
- Follow the specified routes! Don’t take shortcuts as you could wind up in blocked or dangerous areas
- If you have time, leave a note telling others where you are going
– with files from Rebecca Kelli, My Cariboo Now