The highly visible Horsethief Creek wildfire in B.C.’s Columbia Valley has forced the evacuation order of at least 25 properties and placed more than 1,000 on evacuation alert.
The fire, which broke out Monday, is about 300 hectares in size and burning approximately seven kilometres north of the Panorama Mountain Resort and 10 kilometres west of the District of Invermere.
It is suspected to be caused by lightning.
Al Miller, mayor of the District of Invermere, said the fire has residents concerned and it isn’t that far away from some of the communities, including the Panorama Mountain Resort.
“It has been very visible and certainly, especially, later on in the evening when it got a little darker, it was very eerie,” he said.
“It’s always a little nerve-wracking when conditions are so hot and dry and you’ve got wildfires.”
Miller said it was windy Tuesday morning, which added more concern to the fact the fire might grow.
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He added that some residents have already started moving horses and livestock in preparation for a possible evacuation order.
“We have a very good emergency response centre set up in Cranbrook,” Miller added.
In addition, winds near Kamloops and Cranbrook are fuelling more aggressive fire behaviour.
The Ross Moore Lake fire, burning south of Kamloops, has more than 300 properties on evacuation order.
Wildfires officials said cooler weather and some rain has calmed the fire’s behaviour but at least one remote cabin has burned in the blaze.
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The Lladnar Creek wildfire, burning near Sparwood, forced an evacuation alert Monday night for all properties on Upper and Lower Matevic Road and all properties in Sparwood Heights and south of Sparwood Heights Drive.
Residents should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Wildfire officials said equipment has now arrived to fight this fire and ground crews will be putting in machine guards on Tuesday in areas that are safe for workers to enter.
About 1.4 million hectares of B.C.’s forests have burned so far this year.
There are currently 464 active wildfires in B.C., more than 200 of which are considered to be out of control.
— with files from Erin Ubels.
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