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

Regional District of Nanaimo to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardized design of buildings

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nobody want to live in tents

It’s impossible to lump every member of Discontent City in the same category, says letter writer

Nanaimo mayoral candidate Smith announces he’ll try for city council, instead

‘There’s no prize for second place,’ says Norm Smith

Discontent City campers say there’s room for cars and RVs

Organizers open up Nanaimo homeless camp to ‘hidden homeless’

Labour pains: cheap help is hard to find on Vancouver Island

Big Read: high demand for workers, lack of affordable living mean imperfect storm for businesses

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre affordable housing holds official opening

Housing complex on Bowen Road features units that are passive house certified

City urged to support action plan on homelessness crisis

Nanaimo city council presented with reports on homeless count and homelessness action plan

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read