UPDATE: Wildfire closes Highway 1 east of Cache Creek

Strong winds from the north have pushed the fire toward the former mushroom compost facility.

Smoke from the fire near Highway 1 east of Cache Creek. Tom Moe

UPDATE: 4:01 p.m.:

Highway 1 has reopened four kilometres west of Savona, but might be closed temporarily due to decreased visibility (smoke) and/or fire crews laying down retardant.

Forestry crews have already been laying down retardant near where the Elephant Hill fire is threatening Highway 1. The fire is approximately one kilometre from the highway and running parallel to it.

UPDATE: 3:04 p.m.

Because of the threat from the Elephant Hill wildfire, residents of the Skeetchestn Reserve near Savona are under evacuation order and are now leaving the reserve.

An Ashcroft resident who passed through the area at approximately 2:30 this afternoon says that there was a large police presence at Deadman, and structural crews heading in that direction from Cache Creek. He also noted a large staging post for forestry crews at Battle Creek Road, as well as crews working across from the former mushroom compost plant.

Update: i heard from a few ppl that the evacuation order has been set! The cops should be telling ppl soon…. Well there goes that plan :/ carvan of firetrucks & cops roaring past me…i turned back around. Going to shove more stuff in the van.. Cops said i probably would not be allowed back up valley if i left! I would start packing if your not already! ——————- updated!!!!! >>Evacuation order has been issued…time to go!<<

Posted by Candice Camille on Friday, August 4, 2017

UPDATE: 2:23 p.m.

Highway 1 is now closed 4 km west of Savona. There is no estimated time of opening.

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Strong winds from the north on August 4 also caused a portion of the southeast corner of the Elephant Hill wildfire to begin burning south toward Highway 1 east of Cache Creek near the former mushroom compost facility.

Cache Creek fire chief Tom Moe, who was driving past the site at around 10 a.m., said on Facebook that the fire “Doesn’t look too bad yet, and saw about 7 structural protection firetrucks and sprinkler unit on scene monitoring it.”

There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Highway 1 is closed, with some reporting that people are being turned back at Walhachin and others saying they were able to get through.

The Elephant Hill fire, which started on July 6, now covers 100,000 hectares and is only 30 per cent contained. The 2017 wildfire season is already the second-worst one on record, eclipsed only by the 1958 wildfire season.