Tourists asked to stay away from B.C. resort due to nearby wildfire

·2 min read
The Embleton Mountain wildfire was discovered on July 8. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. (Adrienne Clay/Submitted - image credit)
The Embleton Mountain wildfire was discovered on July 8. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. (Adrienne Clay/Submitted - image credit)

A resort community in B.C. is asking visitors to stay away to support any evacuation orders resulting from nearby wildfires.

Officials say 132 addresses in the Whitecroft community near Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality have been evacuated due to a blaze that covers about 1.5 square kilometres.

Residents are asked to prepare to evacuate using Sun Peaks Road to Heffley Louis Creek Road toward Kamloops. A second evacuation route is available via the McGillivary Lake Forestry Road.

Brandi Schier, a spokesperson for the Sun Peaks' emergency operations centre, says firefighters from the resort town are helping crews from B.C.'s wildfire service battle the Embleton Mountain fire.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued an evacuation alert for residents of nearby Heffley Lake, and Schier says that covers 156 addresses.

A total of 12 evacuation alerts and nine evacuation orders are in place for the region that is home to the village of Lytton, which was nearly destroyed by a fast-spreading fire on June 30.

"We're just asking that people put a pause on those plans right while the situation is taken care of,'' Schier said.

Resort municipality issues evacuation alert

On Sunday afternoon, the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) issued an evacuation alert for all properties within the municipality's boundaries.

"Right now the fire is a potential threat to the access road," Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine told CBC News. "So out of an abundance of caution, people in town should be ready to evacuate should it be necessary at this point."

He said the wildfire near Whitecroft could potentially threaten the only access route into the resort, so residents are being asked to prepare to leave at a moment's notice.

"Should the road close, it means everyone would have to go over the forestry road, which is pretty rough," Raine said. "But there is an escape route should the fire cut off the road between the peak and the creek."

More fires

Hot and dry conditions are persisting in parts of southern British Columbia while cooler temperatures are helping crews suppress wildfires in the north.

Fire information officer Taylor Colman of B.C. 's wildfire service says 67 fires are currently classified as out of control, but crews have not yet been able to evaluate the newest ones.

The Sparks Lake fire, in the Kamloops fire centre, is the largest in the province at 402 square kilometres, but people are not at risk in the rural area.

Colman says 306 fires are burning across B.C., most of them in the Kamloops and Cariboo fire centres.

Adrienne Clay/Submitted
Adrienne Clay/Submitted

She says that so far this season, lightning has sparked 42 per cent of fires while 40 per cent of them have been caused by humans and the rest are still being investigated.

A total of 957 fires have started since the beginning of the wildfire season.

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