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Some defy evacuation orders as BC wildfire emergency continues

Firefighters get a handle on a wildfire near Shovel Lake, Aug. 18, 2018 (Via twitter, @BCGovFireInfo)

Some 2,400 properties are now under evacuation orders because of wildfires in BC

The BC Wildfire Service says it's important those orders are followed for the safety of residents and crews alike

BURNS LAKE (NEWS 1130) – With no significant rain expected in the BC Interior any time soon, the province says it’s imperative that people follow evacuation orders.

Currently, roughly 550 wildfires province-wide have prompted 31 evacuation orders, affecting some 2,400 properties. A further 7,883 properties are under evacuation alerts.

“We just want to remind people that these evacuations are put in place to protect your own safety, as well as the safety of our crews, so it’s important that if you are advised to leave the area, you make sure you’re doing so,” says Kyla Fraser with the BC Wildfire Service.

However, some people, including Jim Fehr who lives south of Burns Lake, is refusing to abandon his home.

He tells City TV that fire crews appear to be spread thin.

“We just feel that, you know, we’ve all fought fires, we all can run equipment, that’s the way everybody is out here,” he says. “We could be an asset to ourselves. We have water pumps set up, sprinklers. We want to eliminate little grass fires, spot fires, anything we can.

“It’s not like we’re trying to defy the authorities. We believe that we just want to all fight for our land, like we do,” he adds.

“If it comes raging in here, like, with a strong wind, we’re all going to evacuate. We’re not just going to stay here and get burnt.”

People in 14 properties in the remote Klinaklini Lake area west of Williams Lake needed to airlifted from the area by helicopter this morning as a wildfire raged closer.

Fraser says what fire crews really need is significant rainfall, but no such thing can be found in the current forecast.

A province-wide state of emergency has been in effect since Aug. 15.