As fires burn out of control around the B.C. Interior chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek is encouraging Sun Peaks residents to stay alert.
“I don’t want to be alarmist and there’s certainly no fires at Sun Peaks now,” he said. “With a lot of the evacuations we’ve done in the Cariboo it’s been communities with one road in and one road out so we want people to be prepared if it does happen.”
Skrepnek added evacuations are being ordered with time to spare to allow those communities with limited escape routes time to leave.
He said anyone in Sun Peaks should pay attention to the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) communication channels for information about evacuation alerts or orders. Fire information is available here.
Nearby fires caused smoke to fill the skies around the community today, July 8. Skrepnek said the smoke at Sun Peaks is likely blowing in from the Ashcroft fire, currently estimated at over 4,000 hectares.
As of 5 p.m. July 8, 206 fires were burning in the province, up from 171 reported yesterday.
Skrepnek said the fires were likely started by lightning yesterday when storm cells came through the area but weren’t discovered until they grew today.
63 km northwest of Sun Peaks, three fires are burning out of control in the Little Fort and Dunn Lake areas. Skrepnek said those fires are currently out control.
UPDATE– 10:40 p.m. July 8: Two fires near Little Fort are now reported at 120 and 300 hectares.
UPDATE – 10:00 a.m. July 9: The two fires are now reported as nearly combined by the BC Wildfire Service and have grown to 890 hectares total.
Seven more fires have started in Seymour Arm, 78 km northeast of Sun Peaks. Another five are being fought 65 km northeast near Adams Lake.
Fire on Mt. Lolo
Social media reports of a fire on Mt. Lolo, a mountain that can be seen from the Heffley Lake area located 20 km northwest of Sun Peaks, were confirmed by BC Wildfire Service. The fire is currently estimated at .009 hectares in size and is suspected to be caused by human activity.
Evacuees fleeing various fires began arriving in the village last night, authorities strongly encourage all evacuees to register with the evacuation centre at McArthur Island in Kamloops for more information and vouchers for food and lodging.
UPDATE – 10:40 p.m. July 8: Some social media reports suggest the Mt.Lolo fire has been extinguished. Sun Peaks News has not been able to verify this information. This post will be updated as more information is made available.
UPDATE – 10:00 a.m. July 9: The fire on Mt.Lolo has been confirmed as out by the BC Wildfire Service but those in the area are still encouraged to stay alert.
Wells Gray Park shut to public
For public safety Wells Gray Provincial Park will be shut as of 8 a.m. July 9. In a July 8 release BC Wildfire Service said the closure is necessary as the park has only one road making potential evacuations a challenge. Anyone currently in the park is required to leave.