Forest fire prompts evacuation alert in B.C. Interior

Forest fire prompts evacuation alert in B.C. Interior

30 July 2006

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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada — Hot, dry weather is blamed for a new forest fire that is sweeping across mountain slopes in the British Columbia Interior, prompting officials to issue an evacuation alert.

The blaze – about 30 kilometres east of Barriere and 66 kilometres north of Kamloops – was reported by staff at the Johnson Lake Resort on Friday evening. Since then, it has grown to cover 100 hectares.

By Sunday, the blaze was just three kilometres from several cabins at the fishing resort.

Emergency officials have put residents in the area on evacuation alert as firefighters and water bombers continue to fight the fire.

Fire information officer Jean Rucker said crews are aggressively fighting the blaze because of its proximity to houses and recreational properties.

“Air tankers are actively working the area right now as well as helicopters that are bucketing,” said Rucker.

There were nearly 400 new wildfires in the province over the last week, partially because of the extreme, hot weather earlier in the week.

Forecasters said there was a chance of thunderstorms in the Interior on Sunday. 

But CBC meteorologist Nick Czernkovich said “that’s a double-edge sword” because storms could bring lightning strikes, which are blamed for about half of all forest fires in the province.


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