Travellers had to drive through a forest fire at Riske Creek Saturday to get back to Williams Lake, which was also surrounded by wildfires. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune)

VIDEO: Thousands evacuate Williams Lake by school bus

Multiple fires are raging out of control in the Cariboo

Thousands of evacuees from Williams Lake and the surrounding areas spilled out onto Hwy. 97 south Saturday evening following an evacuation order due to the wildfires.

Gusting winds in the region are causing fires to grow and spread. BC Wildfire Service ground crews have been pulled out of the area. Several large fires are burning out of control around the city; the Spokin Lake fire, the Fox Mountain fire and the Wildwood fire, all just east of Williams Lake, were fanned by the strong winds.

More threatening for the city residents however, has been the White Lake fire located west of Williams Lake which continues to grow, sending plumes of smoke into the air. The White Lake fire has jumped the Fraser River near the Rudy Johnson Bridge, northwest of Williams Lake, and travelled across a portion of Old Soda Creek Road. Officials have been fearing the large aggressive fire would jump the river all week.

When the fire jumped the bridge, it went up the highway, forcing officials to change their evacuation plans. As of Sunday morning, the fire was in the forest just north of the West Fraser Mill which is located on the Old Soda Creek Road.

Currently, Hwy. 97 north of Williams Lake is again open for evacuees. Hundreds of RCMP officers are on scene to help with the evacuation.

WATCH: Thousands evacuated to Kamloops from Williams Lake

More to come.

Just Posted

Driving into the local Wild Kingdom

Cougar kills deer in front of startled motorist north of Kamloops Lake

We need more people fighting wildfires

I am a 79-year-old retired forest service employee. My long suit was fire suppression

TNRD approves spending $100,000 on monument to wildfire volunteers

The monument will be erected in the plaza outside Sandman Centre

BC Rural Dividend program announces fourth intake

Local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations encouraged to apply

TNRD hires manager to help with fire recovery

Thompson-Nicola Regional District to help landowners who were adversely affected by the disasters

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Vandals pour fake blood on statues at B.C. church

Church members concerned about string of acts of vandalism and possible escalation

Cougar judged risk to public shot and killed in Clearwater

Animal was seen prowling through a subdivision, had killed a house cat

UPDATE: Fire now estimated to be 1,500 hectares

Evacuation ordered for 103, 108, 105 Mile and the western part of Lac la Hache

Man linked to Shuswap farm where human remains found to appear in court

A rally will be held on the Vernon courthouse steps prior to Curtis Sagmoen’s appearance

B.C. snow plow operator helps save elderly man

The 73-year-old man had fallen at his isolated home, and finally was able to call for help

Wildlife group challenges B.C.’s interpretation of law on destroying bears

Fur-Bearers are challenging a conservation officer’s decision to kill a bear cub near Dawson Creek

Tourism numbers continue to climb in B.C.

The biggest rise in international travellers to British Columbia are those coming from Australia

Most Read