Wildfire conditions at Hunakwa Lake have prompted an evacuation alert for Seymour Arm. (CSRD image)

Evacuation alert for Seymour Arm still in place as wildfire nearly triples in size

Regional district firefighting crews deployed to North Shuswap community

An evacuation alert for Seymour Arm remains in place as an out-of-control wildfire near the community grows.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) issued an update to its July 14 evacuation alert at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15.

The wildfire burning in the area of Hunakwa Lake in Electoral Area F (North Shuswap) has grown from 230 to 650 hectares overnight.

The growth is mostly moving towards unpopulated areas; however, some flames have been spreading north towards Seymour Arm.

Backed by the BC Wildfire Service, three CSRD fire crews and fire trucks have been sent to Seymour Arm to assist with fire protection.

A structural protection unit and CSRD FireSmart representatives have also been dispatched to the community.

BC Wildfire said it’s assessing the situation regularly and developing a protection plan for Seymour Arm.

The CSRD said an evacuation alert is a warning about a potential threat to life and/or property, intended to give people time to be ready for a possible evacuation. Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however, there may be limited notice due to changing conditions.

Upon notification of an evacuation alert, residents of affected areas are advised to do the following:

• All residents self-register with Emergency Support Services online through this link: https://ess.gov.bc.ca/ You can also search this on Google using the term BC Evacuation Registration and Assistance. When registering, please indicate your community as Seymour Arm. This step is critical as it provides important information in case of an evacuation.

• Locate your grab-and-go bags for you and your family. Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, immediate care needs for dependents. Replenish any items that have expired or need replacement, ensure you and your family members have enough clothing and incidentals for a 72-hour period and have these items readily available for quick departure. See www.preparedbc.ca for details.

• Contact family members, advise them of the situation and determine a meeting location outside of the evacuation area where you can safely reconnect should the area be evacuated.

• Accommodation in the Shuswap area is limited at this time of year. Arrange to stay with family or friends, if possible, or consider finding a campsite outside the alert area.

• Arrange transportation for all household members. Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children. Fill the gas tanks of personal vehicles.

• Take care of your pets by moving them to a safe location (including horses and hobby farm animals).

Emergency support services cannot provide support to visitors to the area or those with secondary dwellings. People visiting the area should consider relocating at this time.

Additional information will be available on the CSRD’s wesbsite, www.csrd.bc.ca, the Shuswap Emergency Program’s (SEP) webpage at www.shuswapemergency.ca, as well as on the SEP and CSRD Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

Read more: CSRD sends fire crews to help protect Seymour Arm during evacuation alert

Read more: “It exploded last night”: Seymour Arm resident on wildfire

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