Still 'out of control' weeks later, wildfire prompts evacuation order near Lytton, B.C.
VANCOUVER -- A wildfire burning since the end of June prompted the evacuation of dozens of properties located in B.C.'s Interior.
The Lytton Creek wildfire was first discovered on June 30. It has since grown to 15,664 hectares, or 156 square kilometres.
The fire is now threatening to reach nearby buildings, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District said in a statement announcing an evacuation order issued at noon Thursday.
As a result, residents of 169 properties in the Spences Bridge area of Electoral Area I (Blue Sky Country) have been ordered to leave their homes immediately.
The following addresses are under evacuation order:
- 3577 to 3640 Big Horn Curl;
- 4884 Bridge Rd.;
- 4850 to 4857 Chucker Cres.;
- 3416 to 3545 Colvin Rd.;
- 3701 to 3719 Deer Lane;
- 3557 to 10320 Merritt-Spences Bridge Hwy. 8;
- 3637 North Frontage Rd.;
- 3681 to 3769 North Frontage Rd.;
- 3701 to 3814 Riverview Ave.;
- 4800 School St.;
- 3748 to 3784 South Frontage Rd.;
- 7893 Speym Rd.;
- 3607 to 3697 Station St.;
- 4809 to 4835 Steelhead Pl.;
- 3740 to 3787 Thompson View; and
- 2869 to 4480 Trans-Canada Hwy.
The TNRD said the order also applies to any other properties within the boundary outlined on a map posted on its website.
An order has also been issued for Shackan First Nationland southeast of Spences Bridge. No specific addresses were given for the notification about Shackan Reserve IR#11.
The wildfire is just north of the small community of Lytton, B.C., a village that made headlines for three days in a row for registering the hottest-ever temperature in the country. On the fourth day, the population-250 village burned to the ground.
It is not yet known what caused the fire in Lytton, which was separate from the Lytton Creek wildfire. Investigations are being conducted by the local RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Lytton Creek wildfire is still classified as out of control.
The BCWS said in an update posted Thursday morning that hot and dry conditions, as well as strong winds, are helping to fuel the fire in some sections.
In its advisory, the TNRD directs anyone in the affected areas to leave immediately.
It also warns evacuees that they may have challenges finding a hotel or other accommodation in Kamloops due to a "critical shortage," and asks that they stay with friends or family if possible.
Orders are in place in other parts of B.C. as well, including in a community located near Shuswap Lake.
Others remain on evacuation alert, meaning they've been told to be prepared to leave at short notice, but can stay home for the time being.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 268 wildfires considered active in B.C., seven of which were sparked in the last two days.
The province has already seen 1,174 fires this year. About half of the fires are believed to have been started by lightning, while humans are likely to blame in more than one-third.