Update: Monte Lake store survives White Rock Lake wildfire

The fire broke onto Highway 97, grazing other buildings in the community 47 kilometers east of Kamloops.

UPDATE: Despite comments from regional district officials confirming that the Monte Lake store was destroyed in the White Rock Lake wildfire on August 5, it turned out that the store did indeed survive the blaze . As the fire destroyed and damaged many buildings in Monte Lake and the Paxton Valley after the flames jumped onto Highway 97, a reassessment of the scene revealed the store was still standing.

Original story below:

The Monte Lake store went missing due to the White Rock Lake wildfire that burned uncontrollably over approximately 32,500 acres between Vernon and Kamloops.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District President Ken Gillis said Thursday evening (August 5) that although he has not heard an official word from the BC Wildfire Service, he has good sources to say the store does. along Highway 97 between Kamloops and Vernon is a total loss.

“I have reliable authority that the Monte Lake store burned to the ground, propane tanks exploding in the process,” said Gillis, adding that he did not know the extent of the damage elsewhere. beyond that.

According to tradition and social media, homes were engulfed in flames from the blaze after they skipped Highway 97.

Another evacuation order for 303 properties in the Westwold and Monte Lake areas – addresses that were previously on alert – is now in place.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for thousands of people in four municipal jurisdictions and the Okanagan Indian Band and residents are reminded to obey the orders.

RCMP and BC Wildfire Service personnel are continuing a tactical evacuation for those who have chosen to stay despite evacuation orders.

“When we knock on your door with an evacuation alert, it’s time to prepare,” Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said in a tweet. “When we knock on the door with an evacuation order, it’s time to go.”

Gillis said those who disobeyed orders caused frustration in a terrifying situation, echoing the sentiments of other agencies.

BC Wildfire Services incident commander Scott Rennick said people were given sufficient notice to evacuate.

“But those who have chosen to stay are putting my staff at risk on the way to the fire to take them out of danger,” he said. “Don’t put my people in the position that others have done today.”

Route 97 between Falkland and Route 1 remains closed and motorists are advised to avoid using secondary roads to access the evacuation area.

Heavy traffic from other travelers in the area slowed evacuations, according to the Regional District of Columbia-Shuswap.

Detours are currently available via Highway 97A, Highway 97B, and Highway 1. There is no estimated time to reopen.

BC Wildfire Services said in its 7pm update Thursday that the wildfire continues to display “an extremely vigorous surface fire and an active crown fire.”