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October 27, 2017 4:33 pm

“The Goal is to Get Them Safe”- Chair of CRD

Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 10:26 PM

BC Highway cam captures stream of traffic heading south  on 97 south of Williams Lake

Prince George, B.C. – It has been a confusing and stressful evening for  folks in the  Williams Lake area  as they  face an evacuation order.   They have been  advised to head  south on 97  then east on 24  to Little Fort  where they will receive more information.

Cariboo Regional District Chair, Al Richmond  says  the confusion is  because of the  fire at  Soda Creek  which has crossed the highway,  making it impossible for  those south of that  fire to  take the northern  route, but those living north of that  fire   were to  head to  Prince George.

Richmond says   those who have been directed  to follow the route to  Kamloops will be getting more information  in Little Fort “They are being directed at the junction of Highway 5”   he says the final instructions  are changing  because “There’s fires all over,  so they will be directed  either south to Kamloops where we’ve found accommodation for them, they are trying to tell them where  they can go.”

Richmond says the situation is  changing   “Just like the wind does with the fires.”   The fires are causing problems north on highway  5,   as the  full District of Clearwater is on evacuation alert as well  “That’s why the people at that corner ( of highways 24 and 5 ) are making that decision.  We are dealing with masses of people and it will  change as we go along”

He says there are some other communities that are  opening up emergency service  centres to  take the pressure off  Kamloops and Prince George,  “There’s communities opening up even in the lower mainland  to look after evacuees.”

“The goal is to get  them safe,  Once they are  at Little Fort and down that  way, they are safe and out of harms way.”


Little fort was under an alert itself, thakfully the route through there is still open. The Question now for evacuees is about the supply of gasoline. If it is short people will have to go to Kamloops as they will lack the gas to go north

I would think that is a major consideration, yes. It’s about 300KM to Kamloops from Williams Lake via Little Fort, and about 700KM to PG via Little Fort.

Yes there are gas stations along the way to PG from Little Fort, but many of them close up early and while I don’t know this for sure, I suspect there may be issues with supply of fuel given the number of vehicles that would be coming through all at once.

At 300KM, most people could probably make the drive to Kamloops without stopping. At 700KM, many people probably couldn’t, especially if they were driving a truck or had a trailer in tow. The lineups for gas could take hours and you could have traffic backlogging the highway, which is the evacuation route.

I suspect the priority is to keep traffic flowing as best as possible and that probably means the route to Kamloops?

    How on earth do you figure Little Fort is 700km away from PG?

      According to Google maps it has mapped PG to Little Fort using Hwy 16 and then Hwy 5 or vise versa. It is a 700 K trip because motorists have to drive from WL to Little Fort that is 133 km away. Then to drive from Little Fort to PG that is another 518 km. Too long. They are better off to head south.

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