I attended a press briefing at TRU today (July 11, 2017) on the wildfires and listened to the reports from various agencies on the fight against the fires in our region, and the response to evacuations. I was able to ask a couple of questions during the Q&A, and afterward was told Boston Flats residents have been given a look at what’s left of their mobile homes.
Almost every home in the park was destroyed as the Ashcroft Reserve fire — now pegged at 10,304 hectares — roared through the area a few days ago.
BC Wildfire Service officials told the briefing that 130 firefighters are pitted against the blaze, supported by eight helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment. As the fire advances north and east, alerts and orders in the area may be relaxed.
A drone video taken over Boston Flats and released at the press conference shows that only a couple of the mobile homes were spared.
Thompson-Nicola Regional District Chair John Ranta told the briefing 72 people were evacuated from Boston Flats, another 1,000 from Cache Creek, as well as 101 properties north of Cache Creek. Boston Flats is south of Cache Creek.
At the Kamloops ESS center, 2,200 people have registered. In Clearwater, 115 evacuees have registered, and another 51 in Barriere.
All agencies are urging evacuees to register at reception centres. “There are people who have not registered,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone.
Officials also urged people not to spread unfounded rumours about fires on social media. “There is a new rumour every day,” said Ranta.
His thoughts were echoed by Stone, who said, “I would ask people to please not speculate. Let’s defer to the professionals.”