A major evacuation alert has been issued for the City of Kimberley.
The quiet city of around 7,425 people is located off Hwy 95A in the Kootenays, just northwest of Cranbrook, and residents are being told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Today’s alert comes a day after 65 properties just west of the city, in the St. Mary Lake area, were issued an evacuation order.
These orders and alerts come in response to the estimated 10,000 hectare Meachen Creek wildfire, which is pushing northwest towards the city at an aggressive rate.
Dry conditions and winds gusts to 40 kilometres per hour are fueling the fire’s growth, while the remote, difficult and unsafe terrain has prevented crews or equipment from accessing it.
The Meachen Lake wildfire is one of nearly 600 burning throughout B.C. right now, which have resulted in thousands of evacuation alerts.
Smoke from the fires has also resulted in an air quality statement being issued for much of the province.