BC wildfires evacuation toll tops 10,000

Twelve serious fires are blazing across a 500km stretch

BC wildfires evacuation toll tops 10,000

Insurance News

By Bethan Moorcraft

More than 10,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes due to a spate of wildfires in British Colombia – and the number of evacuees is expected to rise.

On Friday, there were reports of 56 wildfires in the province leading to evacuation alerts for residents in Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton. Over the weekend, the number of new alerts and small tactical evacuations increased, according to CBC News. Large scale evacuations were not necessary as the wildfires were not causing risk to urban centres.

However, on Sunday afternoon the wind changed and so did the seriousness of the situation. With fires roaring less than a kilometre away, the whole town of 100 Mile House was placed under an evacuation order. CBC reported this pushed the total number of people under evacuation orders in the province to over 10,000.

Firefighters in the area face a Herculean task. There are around 12 fires of serious concern across a 500km stretch from Princeton to Quesnel.

Sunday’s 100 Mile House evacuation dominated news headlines only to be replaced today by concern for Williams Lake, the largest city in the Cariboo region. Around 10,500 people in the city are surrounded by wildfires on three sides.

There is no way to know the exact loss of this ongoing catastrophe. Some families might have to wait for weeks until they get news of their homes.

“It’s difficult,” Al Richmond, chair of Cariboo’s Regional District, told CBC. “Some people know they’ve lost their structures, and others don’t. But we have to wait until the point we can inform people in privacy they’ve lost their homes, and not in a public forum.

“We need to get some of those figures from firefighters, but at the present time, they’re focusing on a fire, not focused on diarizing what structures have been lost.”

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