With overnight lows plunging to double digits, the Williams Lake Fire Department was on the scene of a large fire that broke out Thursday morning at a homeless camp.

Fire chief Erick Peterson says 22 members responded to the fire in the Upper River Valley down on Mackenzie Avenue at about 5:30 after having received two calls from the public and one from employees at Tolko’s Lakeview Division.

“The fire was quickly extinguished but we didn’t locate anybody at the camp itself,” he says.

“It was a very cold night. We did canvass the area searching and seeing if anybody was there, and we were unable to locate. It is my understanding that the RCMP is now trying to find the individual that they believe was in that area.”

Peterson says the Department was on scene for just over an hour.

He calls the incident an ongoing issue.

“Unfortunately as we know housing is an issue inside the City of Williams Lake and we do have a lot of these camps unfortunately in the River Valley,” Peterson says.

“We’re trying to encourage and get people out of there and find them more suitable housing.”