Kimberley residents woke up to their entire city being placed on an evacuation alert, being told to prepare to have to leave at a moment’s notice.
Three hours after an evacation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.
“The purpose of an alert is to give people the time to prepare and that is the intent tonight,” explained EOC Director Terry Balan in a statement Thursday night.
“With an evacuation order issued earlier tonight for rural residents in the St. Mary Valley, the BC Wildfire Service has recommended implementing an alert for the City of Kimberley to give residents the opportunity to prepare now should conditions worsen and we be asked to leave on a moment’s notice.”
The evacuation alert area includes:
• The entire city of Kimberley municipal boundary, and properties in the RDEK directly south and southeast of the city of Kimberley municipal boundary.
“We need to stress that at this time, this is only an alert,” added Balan.
Alert issued due to several wildfires burning nearby
There are two wildfires of note burning near Kimberley, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Wildfires of note mean that the fire is considered highly visible or could potentially pose a risk to public safety.
The Meachen Creek fire is burning at 5,685 hectares as of Friday morning, southwest of St. Mary Valley. Originally estimated to be 10,000 hectares, a perimeter scan earlier this week gave ground crews a better idea of the size.
BC Wildfire Service said active winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour increased fire activity Thursday evening, pushing the fire north. It has not yet merged with the Mount Dickson wildfire.
About 14 kilometres north of Kimberley, the Lost Dog Complex is an estimated 706 hectares, burning near Ta Ta Creek.