Entire Lillooet District evacuated as blaze nears
Published Monday, August 3, 2009 8:16PM PDT
The Mount McLean fire near Lillooet, B.C. continued to rage out of control Monday night after taking a turn for the worse over the weekend.
More than 2,000 residents remain under an evacuation order.
The fire was reported on July 22, and has since spread across more than 26 square kilometres. Due to the rapid spread of the fire, the entire Lillooet District and the T'it'q'et and Bridge River reserves have been evacuated.
"I couldn't believe how fast it came down the mountain," T'it'q'et resident Ginger Alec said. "Faster than a rolling rock even."
Alec said she and her family were ordered to leave their homes within 60 seconds -- and that others had even less time.
"We had to leave our home and everything that's in it. We did pack up a few stuff, but we couldn't take everything."
Despite nearly two weeks of hard work by 60 firefighters, aided by 15 helicopters and 13 pieces of heavy machinery, the fire is not contained on any side.
So far, no structures have been destroyed in the wildfire, which is believed to have been sparked by lightning.
"If I lose my place, I lose everything. I can't afford house insurance," said evacuee Jackie Flint.
Evacuees were asked to head to the McArthur Island Sports Centre in Kamloops.
For information on the Mount McLean fire and other major fires burning in the province, residents can call a new information line at 1-888-350-6070.