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More than 120 homes added to Elephant Hill fire evacuation zone

Last Updated Aug 2, 2017 at 6:13 pm PST

(Courtesy Thompson Nicola Regional District)
Summary

There are more evacuation orders being issued in the Interior

Efforts to contain the Elephant Hill wildfire hit a snag this week when fire teams lost control of a controlled burn

So far this season, the fire response has cost nearly $196 million dollars

CLINTON (NEWS 1130) —¬†A new evacuation order has been issued for over 120 homes southeast of Clinton due to the¬†encroaching Elephant Hill wildfire.

Wind has fanned the flames in dry conditions for an area that has already seen at least four evacuation orders since Friday.

Evacuees are being told to head to Kamloops and register with the Red Cross.

A controlled burn meant to stifle the massive wildfire near Cache Creek has caused even more headaches for firefighters.

Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service says winds in the area shifted unexpectedly Tuesday, tossing embers over Highway 97 and starting a brand new fire which fire teams are still dealing with.

“When Fires get to this size, the use of controlled ignitions is one of the best tactics that we have in terms of trying to contain them. Unfortunately, in this instance, the winds just wen’t in our favour and that’s what’s lead to the excursion,” Skrepnek says.

“Embers that had been drifting up from the fire which were caught in the wind. Those embers were then blown west over on to the other side of highway 97. Unfortunately they landed into a steep hill side in that area and started burning.”

132 fires are still burning in BC and nearly $200 million has already been spent fighting them.