Size estimate for Flat Lake grows by over 10,000 hectares; travel advisory in place for Highway 97

Flat Lake blaze now 26K ha.

The Flat Lake wildfire is now estimated to be 26,191 hectares in size — an increase of more than 10,000 hectares since Monday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

The agency said the updated size is due to more accurate mapping of the blaze.

Fire information officer Alex Lane said some successful planned ignitions took place on Tuesday, but later in the day, the fire advanced to Highway 97 at 83 Mile Road.

“There were some spots across the highway, but structure protection personnel and volunteer fire department were on site patrolling the area,” Lane said.

Lane said crews worked on Wednesday to secure the area at 83 Mile Road and Highway 97.

“Heavy equipment will be building guard in this area, and crews along with structure protection personnel will be patrolling the transmission line,” she said.

She said Highway 97 remains open, but a travel advisory is in effect.

DriveBC said there is limited visibility along the highway due to smoke, and advised motorists to reduce speeds for crews working along the highway.

In total, 82 firefighters and 53 pieces of equipment are working on the ground, supported by 22 structure protection personnel.

Fourteen helicopters are also available to respond to the blaze.

In a social media post Wednesday, the BC Wildfire Service addressed rumours circulating about a possible evacuation of 100 Mile House.

The BC Wildfire Service confirmed 100 Mile House remains on evacuation alert, and there are no recommendations from fire crews to change the current alert status.

They encouraged residents to ensure they are getting information from reliable sources such as the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House.

Evacuation orders and alerts are in place for properties in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the CRD.

More information on properties affected by alerts and orders can be found on the TNRD and CRD websites.

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