Another B.C. community has been devastated by wildfire.
The massive White Rock Lake fire, burning between Kamloops and Vernon, has become increasingly aggressive and ripped through the community of Monte Lake on Thursday night.
The fire, which is about 32,500 hectares in size, continues to move at a rapid speed about 34 kilometres northwest of Vernon.
It jumped Highway 97 just south of Monte Lake and continued growth is expected on Friday.
The blaze has destroyed homes and businesses and the Monte Lake area has been under an evacuation order since Wednesday but the BC Wildfire Service said many residents refused to leave their homes.
Firefighters were pulled off the front lines and forced to get the remaining people to safety.
So far, there’s no word on if anyone has been injured or how many buildings have been destroyed.
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The fire is also forcing more residents living near Vernon to leave immediately.
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The communities of Falkland and Cedar Hill area are under an evacuation order.
The evacuees are being asked to register with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
Highway 97 is shut down between Salmon River Road and Monte Creek and a detour is available through Highway 97A, 97B and Highway 1.
There is also a power outage in the evacuation order in Falkland at this time.
On Friday, wildfire crews are expected to continue to protect and secure the guard west of Westwold. Crews and heavy equipment are also working south of Westwold to secure containment from Adelphi Road to Wood Lake. Heavy machinery is also working on building a contingency guard further north of the fire perimeter.
There are currently 136 wildland firefighters battling the flames, 99 of which are from Quebec, and 125 structure protection personnel, 13 helicopters, 10 danger tree assessors/fallers, 43 pieces of heavy equipment, seven support staff and a BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team.
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