Skeetchestn Indian Band residents were heading for Kamloops today (Aug. 4, 2017) to join other evacuees fleeing wildfires.
Chief Ron Ignace and council signed the evacuation order this afternoon. The reserve had been on the edge of other evacuation zones in the Bonaparte Plateau area.
This morning, several properties on Highway 97 and Jackson Road in TNRD Electoral Area I were ordered evacuated as the Elephant Hill wildfire continues to threaten homes and property.
As well, the Hanceville wildfire is threatening properties in Electoral Area “E” near Empire Valley Road. The TNRD ordered everyone at 7129 and 7140 Empire Valley Rd. to evacuate.
Evacuees were told to proceed to Churn Creek Bridge at Gang Ranch, and follow Dog Creek Road to Williams Lake, then south on Hwy 97 to 100 Mile House. Or as an alternative, travel south on Meadow Lake Rd to Hwy 97, and north to 100 Mile House. It is suggested that evacuees shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. If evacuees have large animals/livestock in need of shelter, please contact the TNRD EOC at 1-866-377-7188.
Those that require support services such as food and accommodation should register at the ESS Centre at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre at 175b Wrangler Way #2, in 100 Mile House.
BC Parks, in co-ordination with the BC Wildfire Service and Recreation Sites and Trails BC, will close backcountry access to specific areas of Wells Gray Provincial Park effective at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017. The step is being taken to help protect public safety.
Members of the public will still have access to most of the major day-use sites in the highway corridor through the park, plus campgrounds and marine campsites. All other areas of the park (and adjacent recreation sites and trails that provide backcountry entry points) will be closed to public access.
Effective at noon (Pacific time) today (Friday, Aug. 4, 2017), the operation of any off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land was prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre. In addition, all on-highway vehicles must remain on defined road surfaces.
British Columbia’s wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency has been formally extended again, through the end of the day on Aug. 18, 2017. Premier John Horgan announced a previous extension on July 19.