The Cariboo Regional District issued an evacuation alert at 11-01 am on Canada Day and that was quickly replaced by an order for 679 properties in the Deka Lake area today. (Thursday)
An evacuation order has now also been issued for Judson Road, which is an area adjacent to the same wildfire.
That covers another 14 properties.
The evacuation route is along Horse Lake Road to Highway 24 to 100 Mile House.
Residents should register at the ESS Centre at the South Cariboo Rec Centre on Airport Road.
That covers 153 properties and those residents are advised to prepare to evacuate should it be required.
While residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation, things could develop quickly and they could get limited notice.
Cariboo Regional District Chair Margo Wagner explains why they have chosen to evacuate some residents.
“My understanding from talking to my EOC Director (John Maclean) this morning and reading the e-mails back and fourth is the wind right now is blowing that fire to the northeast and that is the concern, is that it could come in quick. And after the tragedy that happened in Lytton, they’re like lets get these people out.”
The fire that has caused the evacuation is being called “the Southwest of Deka Lake fire.”
It is 70 hectares in size.
Wagner says this is all too familiar for South Cariboo residents.
“Back in 2017 it was a dry lighting storm that caused us the problems then, and it was a dry lightning storm that caused us the problem right now. It’s been so dry and we haven’t had a lot of moisture in the spring, and although the water tables were really high last fall, you get this kind of heat and it doesn’t take long to dry out. I know from dealing with the public since the 2017 fires, people haven’t got over the mental health impact of the 2017 fires.”
Wagner says in 2018 when there were more fires people’s anxiety levels would go up just with the smoke in the air from wildfires in other areas, which she says is totally understandable.
She encourages residents to be ready in case they have to leave.
“I want to implore on everybody, have your stuff ready to go, that’s the biggest hurdle here because when you’re in a panic you don’t think logically, and you may forget something. You will get to the evacuation center or to wherever you’ve been evacuated to, you will start unpacking and think what the heck did I pack this for and I left x,y,z in the house.”
Wagner says there is a list of essentials on the Cariboo Regional District website.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN YOU ARE EVACUATED:
- You must leave the area immediately
- Register at the ESS Centre at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, 175 Airport Road, 100 Mile House, BC.
- 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.