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Coquihalla fire evacuation

UPDATE 5:00 P.M. 

The Wildfire Management Branch is reporting the fire is now over 150-hectares in size, continuing to grow rapidly since yesterday afternoon.

Forest Fire crews were unable to fight the fire yesterday because of dangerous conditions but a 20-person ground crew with helicopter support is now attacking the blaze. 

An evacuation alert remains in effect for 30-35 properties around Murray Lake. You can read full details on the alert in the 6:30 p.m. update below. 


UPDATE 11:00 A.M.

The Wildfire Management Branch is reporting the fire is now over 100-hectares in size, growing rapidly since yesterday afternoon when it was only reported at 40-hectares. 

An evacuation alert is in still effect for 30-35 properties around Murray Lake, asked to stand by for a possible full evacuation. You can read full details on the alert in the 6:30 p.m. update below. 


UPDATE 9:00 P.M.

The Wildfire Management Branch is reporting the fire is now over 80-hectares in size, double the size it was reported at earlier this evening. 

An evacuation alert is in effect for 30-35 properties around Murray Lake, see full details in the 6:30 p.m. update below. 


UPDATE 7:30 P.M.

The Wildfire Management Branch is reporting the fire is now over 60-hectares in size. 

The cause of the fire is being blamed on a lightning strike. 

Fire crews are still unable to attack the blaze for the safety of personnel. 

An evacuation alert is in effect for 30-35 properties around Murray Lake, see full details below. 


UPDATE 6:30 P.M.

An evacuation alert has now been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for all residents near Murray Lake. 

An aggressive over 45-hectare fire is just kilometres from Murray Lake and the wildfire poses an imminent threat to people and property.

Due to the potential danger to life and health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for the areas referred to in map below.

An evacuation alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises and property should it be found necessary.

Residents will be given as much advance warning as possible prior to the evacuation; however you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.

When an alert like this is in effect emergency officials ask that you:

  • Locate all family members and be prepared to evacuate your residence and property to an identified safe reception centre.
  • Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (insurance), photographs and immediate care needs for dependants.
  • Prepare to move any disabled persons and children.
  • Collect pets and pet needs.
  • If possible, move livestock to a safe area. 

If you require further information please contact the Kamloops Fire Centre, Kayla Pepper, Fire Information Officer: 250.554.5532 or 250.318.6959 OR Melissa Klassen, Fire Information Officer: 250.371.4583 or 250.554.5530 

 


ORIGINAL 6:00 P.M. 

An over 40 hectare fire burning near the old toll booths on the west side of the Coquihalla Highway is aggressive, moving fast and too dangerous to fight.

Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says a repel crew initially attended the fire in addition to air tankers and helicopters but they have now pulled all crews from the area as the fire was no longer safe for crews.

The Wildfire Management Branch is now keeping eyes on the fire from the sky.

“We are seeing aggressive fire behaviour, up to rank five. That means a rapidly spreading wildfire with a organized flame front creeping up into the trees, candling, and with a high flame height,” says Klassen

The fire is located west of Murray Lake.

There are structures in the area, about 5-kilometres east of the fire, but currently none are threatened and no one has been evacuated.

Send photos and video to news@castanet.

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