Wildfire area blocked off

UPDATE: 6:05 p.m.

Members of the public are no longer allowed in the area around Allie Lake, where one of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control.

The B.C. Wildfire Service has issued an area restriction on surrounding Crown land, to protect the public and ensure the safety of firefighters who are battling the flames around the clock.

The restriction will remain in place until Oct. 31, unless rescinded before then.

The blaze at Allie Lake, about 55 kilometres northwest of Kamloops, was burning across 22 square kilometres by Saturday evening, up from about eight square kilometres on Thursday.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued evacuation orders for 14 properties and evacuation alerts for another 51 addresses because of the potential danger to life and health.

There are now 112 firefighters on the ground, 10 helicopters bucketing the blaze from the sky, 12 support personnel on the incident command team and eight pieces of heavy equipment in action.

- The Canadian Press

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

While the BC Wildfire Service managed to contain the 500-hectare Xusum Creek wildfire by 25 per cent Friday, the much larger Allie Lake wildfire continues to burn out of control with no containment.

The fire, burning 55 kilometres northwest of Kamloops and adjacent to last year's massive Elephant Hill wildfire, is estimated to be burning an area of 2,200 hectares as it burns in a northeasterly direction.

The BC Wildfire Service says cooler overnight temperatures helped with firefighting efforts, but they are now seeing more challenging conditions, with warmer temperatures and winds.

Ten helicopters are currently bucketing the blaze as 112 firefighters use heavy equipment to attempt to establish guards.

On Friday afternoon, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for 14 properties in the area, along with an evacuation alert for 51 others.

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

After what the BC Wildfire Service calls a “fairly successful day,” the wildfire west of Lillooet has been 25 per cent contained.

While the Xusum Creek fire has grown to an estimated 500 hectares and remains out of control, crews worked Friday to contain the blaze near the Highline Road area, where two properties have been evacuated.

While three firefighters stayed on scene overnight, 64 firefighters are working on the fire today, along with three helicopters, three pieces of heavy equipment and airtanker support if needed.

The two homes remain evacuated, while 29 other homes remain on evacuation alert.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District says firefighters are setting up sprinkler systems near homes in the area today. 

ORIGINAL: 8:25 a.m.

The two large wildfires burning in British Columbia's Interior continue to grow, as both have now forced residents from their homes.

On Friday afternoon, the Thompson Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for 14 properties about 55 kilometres northwest of Kamloops as the out of control Allie Lake wildfire grew to an estimated 2,100 hectares. An additional 51 properties were placed on evacuation alert.

Twenty-three firefighters stayed on site through the night battling the rapidly-growing fire.

Meanwhile, the Xusum Creek wildfire, burning about 35 kilometres west of Lillooet, is burning an estimated 440 hectares near Anderson Lake, and has forced the evacuation of two homes, while another 29 are under evacuation alert.

Skimmer planes have been using water from Anderson Lake to fight the blaze.

On Friday night, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District responded to erroneous social media reports that the fire had caused injuries, death, or property damage, saying this information is false.

Firefighting efforts will continue on both fires through the day.

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