British Columbia

100 Mile House fire grows to 500 hectares, evacuation orders issued

A fast-growing fire in B.C.'s Cariboo is threatening structures near 100 Mile House, forcing evacuation orders.

The fast-moving fire is still far from urban areas, but five properties have been evacuated

A fire burns near 100 Mile House, B.C. on July 6, 2017. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

A fast-growing fire in B.C.'s Cariboo is threatening structures in the area around 100 Mile House, prompting evacuation orders. 

The fire, approximately 10 kilometres west of the municipality, was just two hectares at 3 p.m. PT but had grown to 500 hectares by 10:00 p.m., and is expected to grow overnight. 

The fire has been growing to the north and west, away from most properties, but the Cariboo Regional District has issued an evacuation order for five properties to the immediate south and east of Abel Lake.

An emergency centre for evacuees has been opened at 100 Mile House's curling rink on Airport Road.

High winds a factor

Water bombers are reloading from Watson Lake and anyone using the lake is asked to give the aircraft enough space to operate safely. 

Kevin Skrepnek, B.C.'s chief fire information officer, said high winds were a factor in the fire's growth.

"It does sound like we are making some progress out there ... but we'll have to see what the weather does with this one," Skrepnek said. "Even overnight temperatures in the Interior are in the high teens."

More than 60 firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Service and multiple air tankers are on scene, along with support from the local fire department. 

Skrepnek said more support will arrive on Friday.

"There will be more crews going in there. Given the the fuel we have there — thick dense timber — we're going to be using quite a bit of heavy equipment."