NEWS

Puntzi Lake wildfire near Williams Lake 30 per cent contained

07/12/2015 02:07 EDT | Updated 07/12/2016 05:59 EDT
An aggressive wildfire burning  northwest of Puntzi Lake, in B.C.'s Cariboo region has been 30 per cent contained after destroying a fishing lodge and several homes and outbuildings over the weekend.

However, the fire, west of Williams Lake, has not diminished in size and still covers about 70 square kilometres — roughly six times the size it was on Friday.

On Sunday fire officials said they had managed to establish containment on its southwest flank.

An evacuation order for 90 properties along Puntzi Lake that was expanded Saturday afternoon remains in effect.

An evacuation alert has been issued for another 183 properties to the north and south of the evacuation zone.

On its Facebook page Jan and Dan Coates, the owners of Woodland Carbiou Resort, whose fishing lodge was destroyed in the fire, wrote the following message:

"Thank you for your thoughts, Woodland Caribou Resort is temporarily closed due to fire damage. We have lost all contact information, so if you wish to stay on our contact list for future updates please send us your contact information at Box 131 Chilanko Forks Post Office V0L 1H0."

The Wildfire Management Branch describes the fire as a Rank 4 or 5 wildfire, meaning it may cause trees to candle and can spread by crowning or jumping through tree tops.

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) says it is working with the Tsi Del Del First Nation's 300 residents who have also been impacted by the fire.

An emergency social services reception centre has been set up at the CRD offices in Williams lake.

Puntzi Lake evacuation and alert areas

A total of 102 firefighters, four helicopters, two air tankers and nine pieces of heavy equipment are currently working the fire.

Wildfire management says fire crews are attempting to build new containment lines on the east side of the fire and are establishing "structural protection units" to try and prevent further damage to property.

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