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'Unparalleled crisis': Shuswap fires impact communities, Hwy 1 remains closed

Friday night proved to be another challenging night on the Lower East Adams Lake fire.

On Saturday morning, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the fire, along with the Bush Creek East fire were pushed by significant northerly winds to “extreme” fire growth in a southern direction.

“This was one of the most challenging nights for first responders, including structural fire departments, search and rescue, wildland firefighters, local governments and all others involved this summer,” says the BCWS.

Tragically, the agency confirms that the spread of the fire has impacted communities in the North Shuswap.

The Bush Creek wildfire jumped across Highway 1 between Chase and Sorrento late Friday night.

The Trans Canada Highway through the Shuswap remains closed.

As of 11 am, there fire remained north of Lee Creek and has not moved into the community.

Tragically, the fire moved into Scotch Creek and the outskirts of Celista and there has been an unconfirmed number of structure losses.

“The entire firefighting community would like to acknowledge last night's impact on residents in the Shuswap Lake area. We are working tirelessly to get people back into their homes and reduce further impacts,” says the BCWS.

The Lower East Adams Lake fire continues to be estimated at 10,000 hectares and the Bush Creek East fire is at 3,287 hectares.

Expanded evacuation orders and alerts are expected to be issued by both the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) on Saturday.

At 10 pm, the CSRD issued a public announcement saying the region was facing an “unparalleled crisis.”

“We find ourselves in an unparalleled crisis as the Shuswap faces its most devastating wildfire day in history. Prioritizing your safety is paramount,” the statement said.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Scotch Creek, Lee Creek, Magna Bay and the Little River Road area.

The community of Chase, which is under the TNRD’s jurisdiction, remains on evacuation alert.

Shortly before 4 am, the CSRD issued an evacuation alert for Sorrento.

For a full list of evacuation notices, or to search for your address, visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Columbia Shuswap Regional District websites.

Below is a list of evacuation notices that have been issued since about 2 pm on Friday through to 7:40 am on Saturday for the North Shuswap area.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].






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