'I would go fast': Resident films harrowing escape from B.C. wildfires
Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 11:07AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 11, 2017 2:08PM PDT
Harrowing video taken from inside a B.C. wildfire evacuation zone captures the terrifying moments of fleeing the raging flames.
UBC professor Sally Aitkens took the video on Highway 20 Sunday, while driving through the Hanceville fire in the province's Chilcotin District of the Central Interior. An evacuation order was issued in the region the day before.
The fire zone is approximately 90 kilometres west of Williams Lake, B.C., where up to 10,000 people remain on evacuation alert and have been told they may be asked to leave with very little notice.
Aitkens' video, taken from inside a car, shows spot fires on the sides of the highway and multiple trees on fire.
The evacuee told CTV News they really had no choice but to keep driving.
"I think it just got progressively worse as we went and you get to a point where turning around is no longer an option," she said.
At one point in the video, which was posted to social media, flames are several metres high on the right side of the road, and Aitkens tells the driver to "go fast" to get through them.
"Oh man, go way to the left. Can we get through there? Power lines are dead. I would go fast," she says.
As of last night, the Hanceville fire had scorched 10,000 hectares of land.
There are currently 219 active wildfires burning across British Columbia, many out of control.
Nearby Williams Lake remains on evacuation alert -- a major concern for the thousands of residents in that community.
Officials say there's "no way to tell" how long evacuees would be out of their homes if they were ordered to leave, because the situation is still too fluid.
Hundreds of residents have lined up to register at the emergency operations centre so that loved ones know where they are.