A wildfire evacuation order and an evacuation alert declared Wednesday evening (July 26, 2017) in the Monte Lake area were both expanded at about 9 p.m.
The fire — known as the Martin Mountain Fire — broke out near Highway 97 in the afternoon, and BC Wildfire Service responded with ground crews and air support. Burning 1.5 hectares north of Monte Lake, it was estimated at 100 hectares by 7:30 p.m.
The TNRD declared a local state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of 39 properties along the highway, as well as putting 60 on alert.
Several properties on Paxton Valley Road, Strong Road and Westlund Road were later added to the order. One property was also added to those already on alert. BC Wildfire said structures were threatened.
Property owners in the evacuation area were asked to register at the support services centre at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.
Highway 97 at Monte Lake was closed in both directions Wednesday evening with no estimate of when it might be re-opened. Drive BC was advising motorists to detour via Highway 1, 97B, 97A and Salmon River Road. An update was expected at midnight. (Update: As of 6:15 a.m. Thursday, July 27, the highway remains closed in both directions at Monte Lake.)
For the full wording of the orders and alerts, go to the TNRD website here.