Update: The Cariboo Regional District is urging the public to stay away from active firefighting zones and staging areas, stay off any lakes being used by water bombers, and exercise extreme caution in the outdoors right now.
Chris Keam, the CRD’s manager of communications noted a specialized heavy-lift helicopter capable of carrying 6284 liters (1,660 gallons) of water is being used to combat the wildfires and “the propwash underneath this aircraft is very powerful and potentially dangerous.”
The CRD would also reminds the public that it is prohibited to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone near or over a wildfire. This is illegal and endangers personnel, and aircraft cannot operate when UAVs or drones fly through restricted airspace.
100 Mile RCMP are asking the public to avoid areas in the South Cariboo that are subject to evacuation alerts and orders.
Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen said while police were in the area to issue evacuation orders to Deka Lake residents Thursday, they noticed numerous boats and other recreational vessels on and around the lake. Evacuation notices were issued to about 700 people in the Deka Lake area Thursday after a wildfire broke out southwest of the lake. The blaze has grown to 200 hectares in size, as of Friday.
“We know it’s summer, which means it’s boating season. However, this is not the area to boat in now,” Nielsen said. “These orders are put in place to ensure public safety and we are working hard to get people out of the area. We are asking everyone to avoid areas of evacuation orders and those in areas of alerts to be prepared to evacuate.”
BC Wildfire Service personnel and local firefighters are battling 37 fires in the South Cariboo, as of Friday. Evacuation orders are also in place for 14 properties along Judson Road, while an evacuation alert has been issued for 153 properties on Sulphurous Lake.
”RCMP officers will be continuing to assist with evacuations and road closures in the evacuated areas and will continue to patrol the impacted areas,” Nielsen added in a media release. “Your safety remains our number one priority, please adhere to directions given by emergency personnel.”
For more information about evacuation orders and alerts in and around the community of 100 Mile House, visit the Cariboo Regional District website at https://www.cariboord.ca/en/index.aspx