A view of one of the 100 Mile House mills taken today (July 10). According to Fire Information Officer Heather Rice, the mills are still intact. Casey Lang photo.

July 10: 100 Mile House mills still intact

Increase in night shift to make sure fire holds

“Both of the work sites, the mills, are still intact. They’re still focusing a lot of their efforts there. They’re actually going to increase their night shift in that area tonight to make sure it holds,” says Fire Information Officer for the Gustafsen Fire, Heather Rice.

“We are running a night shift and a lot of those night shift folks will be at those mills’ work sites.”

“The reason for those new alerts is primarily concern because the smoke is so thick and the remoteness of some of those areas and the fire activity as well. They’re just thinking that they’d rather be safe than sorry and make sure those people are ready to go should they need to.”

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Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond adds to that: “If the fire breaches behind the mills it could come down the valley and spread pretty quickly that way. Again because the fluidity of this fire is unpredictable, we needed to air on the side of caution and ensure that people have advance warning”

He does say that the district is not anticipating new evacuation orders overnight.

“Based on what the fire services is telling us we are unconcerned at this time.”

Rice says that on another optimistic note, it was starting to rain a little bit, “just a few drops.” Rice said the drops mean the relative humidity is higher and that’s good news.

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The evacuation alerts are a precautionary measure, says Richmond.

“We normally have days to prepare people and suggest that they might want to prepare for evacuation. The type of fire that we’ve been experiencing, and the intel we’ve been getting from the forest fire service has been so quick, because the fire changes so quickly that we’ve had to go in some cases and [skip from] alert to an evacution and that is not what we like to do,” he says. “We like to give people as much notice when we have a concern so they can see it coming and they can prepare.”

100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall says there is no way to say how long people should plan to be away from.

“It depends on what the weather is doing.”