Cities across the province stepping up to accept wildfire evacuees

The Boston Flats trailer park was destroyed by a wildfire in Boston Flats British Columbia Canada on Monday

Thirty-eight thousand British Columbians have now been forced from their homes and Todd Stone is calling the situation unprecedented as 162 wildfires rage around several communities in the Interior.

Williams Lake had been under an evacuation alert for days before the evacuation order was implemented.

The Burnaby Fire Department is sending two engine companies, with a captain and three firefighters each, along with a support vehicle pulling a supply trailer, fire Chief Joe Robertson told the NOW.

She said the fire is burning very aggressively because of the weather, the dry fuel and the region's topography.

"If you do not call, there is no way to know that you require assistance", said the statement, while officials say they estimate around a dozen people will need assistance to leave.

The cots are empty and the hallways quiet at Chilliwack secondary school as volunteers await the arrival of wildfire evacuees from Williams Lake.

Robert Turner with Emergency Management BC said this year's fire season is unique because there are so many fires spread across the province and it's still early in the season. They couldn't fight the fire.

Evacuee Susan Tomlins is fortunate enough to have a place to stay with her daughter in Westsyde, Kamloops.

While wildfires continue to burn in the B.C. Interior, the Southeast Fire Centre says that Cranbrook and the East Kootenay area remain relatively unscathed save for a few small blazes.

The alerts come as high winds were expected through the Cariboo Fire Centre.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District says in a news release that evacuees are encouraged to try and arrange their own accommodations with friends or family due to a limited capacity.

"The possible duration of this is different", Mr. Turner said.

Smoke and fire retardant is seen along a neighbourhood in Lake Country, B.C., Sunday, July 16, 2017.

Kristi McLean posted to an Facebook evacuee support group saying she has a tent trailer at her home near Kamloops, B.C., that would be flawless for a family.

The fire is now 80 per cent contained and evacuation orders and alerts were dropped last night for all but 69 properties.

Lake Country officials said residents hoping to get back to their homes on Sunday were being turned away. The Canadian military has deployed helicopters and fixed winged aircraft to help with the firefighting effort and evacuate communities in case of an emergency.



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