Update 9 pm:
A fast growing wildfire led to dozens of homes being evacuated near Monte Lake east of Kamloops Wednesday evening.
The Martin Mountain fire was at 100 hectares at last report.
It started off of Highway 97 on the east side of the lake in the afternoon, with the first size estimate at 30 hectares, followed by 60 and then 100.
Thirty-nine properties on Kristianson and Paxton valley Roads were evacuated, while another 48 properties were on alert.
Rachel Witt from the Wildfire Service said Wednesday night the dry conditions and wind were factors in the growth .
“We are seeing some fairly aggressive fire behaviour. We have 31 firefighters on site with air tankers supporting them.”
At last report, the crews were trying to establish some containment lines.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Highway 97 was closed until further notice with vehicles having to use 97A, 97B, and Highway 1 to get to and from Kamloops.
Update: 8:20 pm
The BC Wildfire Service says crews are trying to establish containment lines on the Martin Mountain fire near Monte Lake.
The latest update is still saying the fire is 100 hectares in size.
Update 7:30 pm
The BC Forest Service says the Martin Mountain fire near Monte Lake has grown to 100 hectares and is still showing fairly aggressive behaviour.
It is still burning away from the highway and up-slope.
The fire has led to 39 properties being evacuated and another 48 on evacuation alert.
The evacuated residents are being asked to check in at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has ordered everyone to evacuate the following properties immediately:
• 3847, 3851, 3865, 3871, 3875, 3877, 3885, 3889, 3901, 3907, 3913 Hwy 97
• 4120, 4121, 4205, 4225, 4249 Kristianson Rd
• 3928, 3929, 3938, 3941, 3964, 3965, 4025, 4080, 4105, 4108, 4124, 4125, 4146, 4164, 4178, 4188, 4198, 4199, 4212, 4242, 4264, 4265, 4278 Paxton Valley Rd
The following properties are on evacuaiton alert:
• 3526, 3529, 3569, 3602, 3640, 3668, 3800, 3866, 3872, 3876, 3884, 3886, 3896,3900, 3919, 3920, 3924, 3925, 3930, 3931, 3937, 3943, 3951, 3955, 3961, 3962,
3967 Hwy 97
• 3665, 3675, 3715, 3787, 3822, 3859, 3862 Mill Rd
• 3706, 3711, 3712, 3716, 3720, 3721, 3728, 3754, 3800, 3903 Monte Lake Rd
• 4088, 4319, 4401, 4481, 4547, 4548, 4622, 4623, 4649, 4676 Paxton Valley Rd
• 4294 Strong Rd
• 5469, 5525, 5535 Westlund Rd
Update: 6:52 pm
A wildfire burning near Monte lake, east of Kamloops, has grown to 60 hectares.
Rachael Witt from the BC Wildfire Service says the Martin Mountain fire is showing “fairly aggressive fire behaviour.”
“We have 31 firefighters on site and the air tankers are supporting them.”
Witt says the fire is burning away from Highway 97 and it’s about 1.5 km’s north of Monte Lake.
“At this time multiple structures are threatened on the east side of the valley, and a tactical evacuation has taken place, with more details on that from the Thompson Nicola Regional District,” says Witt.
Witt says the cause is unknown and under investigation.
The fire broke out this afternoon near the highway.
Update: 6:30 pm
The Thompson Nicola Regional District says homes are currently being evacuated, and a state of local emergency has been declared for Electoral Area L (Grasslands).
It’s not known at this point how many homes are impacted.
Update: 5:50 pm
The BC Wildfire Service is actioning a wildfire in the Monte Lake area, west of Vernon.
“It’s near Martin Mountain north of Monte Lake and east of Kamloops,” says information officer Rachael Witt. “We currently have air and ground support assigned to this incident, and it’s currently estimated at 30 hectares in size.”
Witt says there are structures threatened at this time, but she couldn’t be more specific about that.
The fire is highly visible from Highway 97 and nearby communities.
Highway 97 is closed in both directions at Paxton Valley Road until further notice.
Update: 5:35 pm:
Highway 97 has been closed in both directions at Paxton Valley Road near Monte Lake due to a wildfire.
Drive BC says an assessment in progress with next update expected at 9 pm.
A wildfire has broken out at the side of Highway 97 near Monte Lake, between Vernon and Kamloops.
Kiss FM employee Graham Turnball was driving through the area earlier.
He says it was at the north end of Monte Lake on the east side of the lake, about 100 metres north of the gas station.
Turnball says it was climbing the mountain, but didn’t look overly large.
“I didn’t see a lot of flames, but there was a lot of smoke, and there were spots where you could definitely see some flames,” says Turnball.
The smoke is visible in Kamloops.
Turnball says vehicles were still able to get though the area, and visibility wasn’t impacted.
The BC Wildfire Service was contacted about the fire by Kiss FM, but didn’t have any information on the fire as yet.