Campers near Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., pack up after wildfire triples in size
Provincial park operator says hundreds leave as fire grows from 20 to 60 hectares overnight
Firefighters in B.C. are working to contain an out-of-control, human-caused forest fire near Harrison Lake that tripled in size overnight.
The fire was first reported Saturday afternoon. By the evening, it was 20 hectares in size and had grown to 60 hectares by Sunday morning.
B.C. Wildfire Services issued a notice-to-leave order for the area Sunday afternoon to clear people out. The order does not affect residences or businesses.
Hundreds of campers were forced to end their weekend plans early at nearby campgrounds like Cogburn Beach Recreation Site, which are rustic camping areas along Harrison Lake.
"It sucks," said Jeremy Jossie, who is from Vernon and was camping with family who came from the Okanagan.
He says he understands why they have to leave, though.
"The fire is a fire right?" he said. "You don't mess with mother nature, if it comes and we get caught in the middle of it, we will get in trouble."
Marg Drysdale, a fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, says the human-caused fire is burning in steep terrain above the east shore of Harrison Lake, 30 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs.
Crews have had trouble getting to the area because the road is single-lane for much of the distance and many recreational users have parked along the road way.
"In some places, the parked vehicles are preventing the passage of low beds containing heavy equipment," Drysdale said in a release.
There are four officers, 60 firefighters, a water tanker, and six helicopters working on the fire.
Though the fire was listed as out-of-control, Drysdale said no people or property were at any immediate risk.