Resident anxious as McKinley Lake wildfire east of Horsefly grows to 1,500 hectares

The McKinley Lake wildfire as seen July 6. (Inger Visser photo)The McKinley Lake wildfire as seen July 6. (Inger Visser photo)
The McKinley Lake wildfire has grown to approximately 1,500 hectares. (Inger Visser photo)The McKinley Lake wildfire has grown to approximately 1,500 hectares. (Inger Visser photo)
Inger Visser captured this photo of the McKinley Lake wildfire from the lake. (Inger Visser photo)Inger Visser captured this photo of the McKinley Lake wildfire from the lake. (Inger Visser photo)

One of the few residents who live full-time on remote McKinley Lake, Inger Visser and her husband can only watch from afar as crews work to contain the growing wildfire at the east end of the lake.

“I feel terrified and quite bitter towards the individual/s that started this as the fire continues to grow,” Visser said when asked how she was feeling.

How the McKinley Lake wildfire was started is still under investigation, however, it is suspected to be human-caused. It was discovered on June 30 and has been spreading across the mountain ever since.

“(It’s) reminiscent of the fires of 2017 which created a lot of anxiety.”

Visser said there are two families that live on the lake permanently, one family is semi-permanent and there are also approximately 20 other vacation homes. A remote area, McKinley Lake is located about 30 kms east of Horsefly.

Visser said her property at McKinley Lake has been in her family for more than 60 years, but apart of her life since 1971. The couple has made McKinley Lake their permanent home for the past 10 years.

“It has always been a place of sanctuary for me (the fishing was pretty good as well). We have lived here permanently for approximately 10 years when we retired. We love the peacefulness and the joy of boating and fishing.”

Visser took to the lake Tuesday afternoon, July 6, to document the progression of the fire and shared it on local social media.

In an update for the Tribune, Jessica Mack of the BC Wildfire Service said ground crews are continuing to secure the west flank of the McKinley Lake wildfire.

“Due to the windy conditions on site yesterday, the size did increase to approximately 1,500 hectares,” said Mack.

She noted there are 21 firefighters, an equipment task force team and three helicopters that are working to suppress the wildfire.

Read More: Smoky skies bulletin issued for Cariboo North, Cariboo South


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Wildfires 2021Cariboo