CRD declares local state of emergency for Puntzi Lake

The Cariboo Regional District has activated its Emergency Operations Centre as a result of an aggressive wildfire west of Puntzi Lake.

UPDATE:

BC Wildfire Service crews are responding to a wildfire burning on the west side of Puntzi Lake, about 130 kilometres west of Williams Lake.

The wildfire is exhibiting aggressive fire behaviour and is approximately 500 hectares in size. There are structures in the area and airtankers are working hard to protect them.

The BC Wildfire Service has airtankers, three helicopters and 22 firefighters currently on scene. Additional resources are being sent to the fire including 50 firefighters and eight pieces of heavy equipment. Crews will be working on this fire through the night.

The Cariboo Regional District has issued an Evacuation Order and an Evacuation Alert for the area. For more details, please visit the Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations

Residents are reminded to sign up for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive alerts about emergencies and other important community news. Register by visiting the Cariboo Regional District website at www.cariboord.bc.ca or by calling their office at 250 392-3351.

To report smoke, flames or an unattended open fire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 336-7378.

Original story:

The Cariboo Regional District has activated its Emergency Operations Centre as a result of an aggressive wildfire west of Puntzi Lake.

Tactical evacuations are currently underway for 15 residences on the northwest side of Puntzi Lake. The south west shore and the north shore of the lake are now under evacuation alert. The fire is currently at 300 hectares and the CRD has issued a local state of emergency.

An Emergency Social Services Reception Centre has been established at the CRD office in Williams Lake located at 180 D North Third Avenue.

The fire was reported at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and by 5 p.m. had already grown in size to 300 hectares, said Emily Epp, fire information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC).

Currently four air tankers, two bird dogs, two helicopters and seven firefighters are on scene fighting the blaze while the CFC has requested another 60 firefighters and four pieces of equipment to assist.

Epp said the fire is exhibiting aggressive fire behaviour.

Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca. For up to date fire information, please visit the Cariboo Fire Centre online Bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-336-7378.  For more information regarding evacuations, please visit the CRD’s website at cariboord.ca or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyperations or Twitter @CaribooRD.

Further information will be made available as soon as we receive it.

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