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Princeton fire evacs

UPDATE: 7:15 p.m.

More residences have been put on evacuation order north of Princeton due to an out-of-control wildfire.

Another 46 homes on 43 properties have been added to a growing list of residences that people must leave due to a wildfire. The homes are located along Highway 5A, south of the junction with Summers Creek Road. Princeton Summerland Road remains fully open.

An additional 73 properties have been placed on an evacuation alert, to be ready to leave at any time. They extend along Highway 5A to the northern boundary of the Town of Princeton. 

The latest order takes the total number of homes evacuated to 301. The total number of properties placed under evacuation alert is 306. 

While an evacuation of 195 residences in the Missezula Lake area is expected to take place at 2 a.m. Monday, a spokesperson for the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District said it is not known if there are many people left in the area. 

"Many of these people have already self-evacuated," said Cameron Baughen of RDOS.

He said a crucial reason for Missezula Lake area evacuation was due to only one road in and out.

He did not know if the fire had grown over the last 36 hours. 

"The problem is the smoke has been really bad for the last couple of days," Baughen said, adding that it was difficult for the BC Wildfire Service to see the size of the wildfire.

All evacuees and others who own property in the evacuation zone are being urged to contact the emergency reception centre in Princeton.

"We want to verify that all of the homes are not occupied and that everyone is safe."


ORIGINAL STORY: 5:20 p.m.

A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for 195 residences in the Missezula Lake area due to the wildfire north of Princeton.

The only maintained road to the homes, Summers Creek Road, is presently closed due to the fire.

RCMP and Search and Rescue will be onsite to allow a controlled evacuation along Summers Creek Road starting at 2 a.m. Monday morning. The delay is to allow for the safest passage through Summers Creek Road at a time when the temperature is coolest and the fire risk is lower, said a press release.

An Emergency Support Services Reception Centre has been set up at the Riverside Community Centre in Princeton at 148 Old Hedley Road.

All affected people within the evacuation order area are asked to register at the centre or call 250-293-6672.

Information will be updated online. The regional district's Emergency Operations Centre can be contacted at 250-490-4225.

All property owners in the Missezula Lake area are asked to contact the Reception Centre at 250-293-6672 even if they are not there now. Many of the cabins on Missezula Lake are holiday homes and may presently be empty. Calling 250-293-6672 will allow first responders to know that you or your family are safe.

Meanwhile, the BC Wildfire Centre says the wildfire remains at 1,500 hectares and is still classed as out of control.

Fifty firefighters, two helicopters and machinery are fighting the blaze.

Smoke continues to hamper visibility.



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