An evacuation order was issued Saturday evening for the entire City of Williams Lake and numerous surrounding areas including the village of 150 Mile House that have been under threat from nearby fires for nearly a week.
Williams Lake was issued an Evacuation Alert earlier in the week.
Strong winds have strengthened numerous wildfires burning across B.C.'s Interior, forcing thousands more people out of their homes and posing serious challenges for officials trying to meet the needs of as many as 37,000 evacuees. However windy conditions Saturday fuelled the flames and led to the Evacuation Order.
"The city of Williams Lake was not under any immediate threat Saturday when the order was issued". The alert covers the entire District of Clearwater with the exception of the Canfor Vavenby mill site and the Yellowhead Mines property. "If residents are unable to get to a muster point, please call the RCMP at 250-392-6211 immediately".
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"Al Richmond, chair of the Cariboo regional district, on Global news Saturday night was advising evacuees from Williams Lake evacuees to go to Prince George, where the city is better equipped to handle a new wave of displaced people".
The alerts come as high winds were expected through the Cariboo Fire Centre.
"The Coastal fire centre is not seeing the same level of activity as we are in the Cariboo fire centre", said Skrepnek, "but we are making sure we have the equipment".
Despite that most fires did not display major growth in the Quesnel area.
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With the rise in evacuees, the provincial government said more volunteers are needed in Kamloops to help the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, as well as a 24-hour animal shelter and runners to complete errands.
"I want you to know we did everything possible to save and protect everyone's homes", he told a news conference on Sunday.
"We made the decision to get everybody while we could, because depending on how the fire went, we might have lost all our access out of town", he said. Chilliwack Secondary School is also offering more than 100 evacuees a place to stay.
Shelter is being set up in Kamloops at an emergency social services reception centre at the Sandman Centre, which is located at 300 Lorne Street. "Most of those who have evacuated have not registered".
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