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100 Mile evacuation ordered, residents told to come to P.G.

BY BILL PHILLIPS

bill@pgdailynews.ca

An evacuation order was issued for 100 Mile House shortly before 9 p.m. last night.

Mayor Mitch Campsall issued the order after the Gustafsen Forest Service Road fire grew to 5,000 hectares. In the order, Campsall says the fire is "rapidly moving and threatening residences and businesses of the District of 100 Mile House.

The order urges residents to come north to the evacuation centre at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George. Roads through the Cariboo, however, are closed so residents are encouraged to take Highway 24 to Little Fort, go north to Valemount, and then west to Prince George.

The B.C. Wildfire Service currently has 107 firefighters, 14 helicopters, and 30 pieces of heavy equipment as well as an Incident Management Team and support staff on site today.

Forest Minister John Rustad said the 100 Mile House evacuation is "very concerning" news.

"This has been a challenging day with high winds that have shifted causing a shift in fire directions," he said.

Additional resources from other provinces we schedule to arrive last night and three additional bomber units have already been deployed to B.C. Some military assets are already transferred to B.C. with more on their way in the coming days.

"We continue to draw resources from within the provincial ministries to assist the crews we already have deployed," he said. "Every available resource is being drawn upon to help with the efforts. We also have some logistical personnel deployed from Australia."

Rustad added that the chief of the Anaham Band has decided not to evacuate his reserve.

"Some have left and but they have decided to stay and fight the fires to try and save their community," said Rustad. "I understand why he wants to do it but this is a serious risk given the challenge of what could happen with rapid moving fires. We've connected him with satellite communications in case we lose all ground lines and will be in frequent communications with him."

Emergency fuel and food supplies are being made available. Prince George has set up temporary shelters to house up to 8,000 people.

Facebook page to help evacuees

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