Lytton wildfire consumes barn, evacuation order in effect

A rapidly moving wildfire north of Lytton, B.C., led to the tactical evacuation of 45 homes in the Botanie Valley Thursday night.

'It's pretty aggressive. It's grown pretty substantially in the last 12 hours,' says official

An aggressive wildfire burning north of Lytton consumed a barn Friday. About 45 residents have been told to leave their homes. (Denise O'Connor/Twitter)

A rapidly moving wildfire north of Lytton, B.C., that led to the tactical evacuation of 45 homes in the Botanie Valley Thursday night has now consumed a barn.

A public meeting has been called to update residents on the changing conditions.

Mike Garrett, emergency Services supervisor for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, says the raging Botanie Creek fire forced officials to declare a state of local emergency in the Blue Sky Country electoral area.

"It's pretty aggressive. It's grown pretty substantially in the last 12 hours, even," he told CBC News. "It started out pretty small yesterday and now it's grown quite a bit."

As of Friday evening, the fire had grown from 470 hectares to 1,500 hectares and was zero per cent contained.

An evacuation order was issued Thursday for residences along Botanie Creek Road from the junction with Highway 12 to Botanie Lake, and aevacuation alert was issued today for other properties along the Highway 12 corridor, from Botanie Creek Road to the Laluwissin Forest Service Road's western boundary with the Bootanie IR 15.

A reception centre has been set up at the Parish Hall in Lytton for those affected by the evacuation order.

Marie Hester was one of the people that had to leave her home because of the fire Thursday night.

"It was quite spectacular last night. It ran up a ridge of a mountain that's between Botanie Valley and Highway 12, so in the dark it was a big line of fire going up the mountain. And, of course, lots and lots of smoke," she said.

Kayla Pepper, speaking for the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch, said crews would be working again today to try and contain the fire.

"Yesterday there was helicopters, firefighter and air tankers. We had an initial attack crew monitor the fire overnight, to watch when it hit thos trigger points, to make sure the community was safe," she said.

"Today we have another 21 firefighters heading out there and they will be joined by more helicopter support as needed."

The Thomspon-Nicola regional district ordered the evacuation of approximately 35 properties earlier this week due to the Maka-Murray fire, burning between Hope and Merritt.