Photo submitted All that remained of the historic Lee’s Corner after a wildfire ripped through the area on Friday, July 7.

A look back at some of our stories from July, 2017

July 5

4 Directions a huge hit with visitors

By all account the city’s first 4 Directions Festival held Saturday, July 1, in downtown Williams Lake was a huge success. Four blocks of the downtown core were closed to traffic and there was a steady stream of people coming and going to visit the impressive number of activities planned.

July 5

Thunder Mountain celebrates 60th anniversary

It was an historic weekend for Thunder Mountain Speedway as they celebrated their 60th anniversary in style with back-to-back days of racing.

More than 1,000 spectators lined the track Friday as carnage ensued throughout the night in the Hit to Pass.

July 6

Wildfire breaks out west of 100 Mile House

A wildfire broke out near 100 Mile House near the intersection of the Gustafsen North Forest Service Road and Exeter McKinnley Road on Thursday, just before noon.

Evacuation orders begin to go into effect for residents living in the area and a reception area was set up in 100 Mile House.

July 7

Fire danger rating remains extreme

With hot weather predicted for the weekend and a fire danger rating of extreme for some areas of the Cariboo Fire Centre, the public was reminded to be vigilant in preventing wildfires.

At noon, Friday, a campfire ban was imposed throughout the entire CFC.

July 7

Emergency Social Services Centre opens in Williams Lake

The Cariboo Regional District begins to establish an emergency centre and urges evacuees arriving in Williams Lake from outlying areas to come in and register.

July 7

Evacuation orders issued for areas around Williams Lake

Evacuations were ordered for the Miocene, Wildwood and 150 Mile House areas prompted by nearby wildfires. Several fires, broke out in the area Friday afternoon after a lightning storm passed through the region. Several other surrounding areas are on evacuation alert.

The Cariboo Fire Centre was also evacuated due to the proximity of the fire to the building and the Williams Lake Airport is closed.

July 9

Tl’etinqox First Nation defy evacuation order

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nation community of Anaham Reserve are defying an evacuation order to leave the Chilcotin in order to try and save their homes.

“We sent out the elders today but anyone who is young enough and fit enough is staying behind to fight the fire,” said Cecil Grinder. “We have to try and save our homes.”

July 10

Evacuation alert issued for city of Williams Lake

An evacuation alert has been issued for the entire city of Williams Lake and fringe areas due to potential weather events in the forecast for Wednesday.

July 13

Ranchers work together to save cattle in fire zones

Shrouded in thick smoke, cowboys on horseback slowly moved a herd of cattle east of Hanceville Wednesday, trying to get them out of harm’s way as wildfires continue to ravage the Chilcotin.

July 15

Williams Lake, 150 Mile House under evacuation

At 6 p.m. the Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake issued an evacuation order encompassing Williams Lake and surrounding areas after the White Lake fire jumped the Fraser River. Evacuees were directed to go south on Highway 97, turn at Highway 24 to Little Fort and from there proceed to either Kamloops or Prince George.

July 21

Canadian Armed Forces on way to Williams Lake

Some of the roughly 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces set to help battle B.C. wildfires were soon to be arriving in Williams Lake.

The members would be working checkpoints and supporting RCMP on the ground. The province’s request for military support did not include deployments in an armed or law-enforcement capacity.

July 23

Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. buys fire trucks for 150 Mile VFD

150 Mile Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Stan McCarthy told the Tribune Sunday morning that Bryan Reid Sr. of Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. has bought his dept. two fire trucks from Abbotsford as his crews continue to battle wildfires.

“I’ve got the transfer papers for one and the other papers are coming tomorrow,” McCarthy said during a phone interview from the fire hall just after he’d taken a tour of the 150 Mile area to check in on the local fires.

One of the trucks has a 500 gallon tank and the other has a 1,000 gallon tank.

July 24

Check point nets suspected drunk driver

RCMP arrested a man suspected of driving impaired after he drove up to an evacuation check point at McLeese Lake Sunday night.

According to police, the driver, a 35 year old man from Fort St. John, approached the check point at about 8 p.m. and was stopped by the RCMP officer, who detected significant signs of impairment.

July 28

Aerial view shows widespread devastation around Williams Lake

An aerial view of the current wildfire situation around Williams Lake painted a worrisome picture.

Hundreds, if not thousands of hot spots smolder throughout green forests still untouched by flames around the White Lake fire, situated east of the Fraser River and just north of Williams Lake, the Wildwood fire, which stretches out north to the shores of Forest Lake, and the Spokin Lake fire, just south and east of Dugan Lake.

 

Cowboy Mike Jasper moves cattle owned by Chilco Ranch, Miller Ranch and River Ranch, to a safer location with access to water. During the height of the fires in the Lee’s Corner area fences were cut and gates were opened to give the cattle a chance to escape the fires. Angie Mindus photo

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