British Columbia

Tyaughton Lake fire doubles in size as more areas evacuated

A wildfire northwest of Lillooet, B.C., has grown to covers 15 square kilometres of bush after winds whipped up Wednesday afternoon, pushing the flames toward Tyaughton Lake and forcing the evacuation of the Tyax Resort and dozens of nearby cabins.

Open fire bans in place for much of southern B.C.

The Tyaughton Lake fire, near Lillooet, B.C., grew to 1,500 hectares on Wednesday. ((CBC))
A wildfire northwest of Lillooet, B.C., has grown to covers 15 square kilometres of bush after winds whipped up Wednesday afternoon, pushing the flames toward Tyaughton Lake and forcing the evacuation of the Tyax Resort and dozens of nearby cabins.

Provincial fire officials say the fire, which is located on the southeastern edge of the Coast Range Mountains, is only 15 per cent contained, six days after it apparently spread from a campfire likely left by a careless camper.

Evacuation details:

       
  • An evacuation order is in effect for Tyaughton Lake and Pearson Pond.
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  • Gold Bridge, Bralorne and Gun Lake remain under evacuation alert only.
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  • There are road closures in the immediate vicinity of the wildfire.
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  • For more info, please contact the Squamish Lillooet Regional District at 1-866-417-4132

On Thursday more than 100 firefighters, eight air tankers and nine helicopters are expected to concentrate their efforts on the southwestern flank in order to protect some threatened properties.

Elise Riedlinger, a fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre, said the weather pattern has been hindered firefighting efforts.

"We're also dealing with something called inversion which has been trapping smoke in the valley and because of that it's been very difficult for our air support to help out, so they usually can't get into the air until the afternoon," said Riedlinger.

Evacuation alerts remain in place for Gun Lake, Gold Bridge and Bralorne, with residents worried that a change in the wind could drive flames toward those busy recreational areas.

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District information officer Leslie Llyod said getting information out to those residents is top priority, so they have increased the number of community meetings in Gold Bridge.

"As of yesterday we had information that those meetings are planned to be every other evening in Gold Bridge at approximately 7 p.m. PT," said Llyod.

Because of the record-setting hot dry conditions, the fire danger rating across much of B.C. is rated as moderate, high or extreme. Provincial fire officials have banned open fires on Vancouver Island, the South and Central Coast areas, and the Cariboo and Kamloops regions. Campfires are still permitted, though.

The hot dry weather is expected to continue until Friday when cooler moist air is expected to arrive on the coast for the weekend.

With files from The Canadian Press

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