Skies are clearing around Ashcroft, and work is underway restoring Internet, phone service, and secure power. (Barbara Roden/Ashcroft Cache-Creek Journal)

Ashcroft Reserve wildfire hit 10,300 hectares

Cause of the fire remains under investigation

The Ashcroft Reserve wildfire continued to grow yesterday, with the BC Wildfire Service saying that the blaze covered 10,300 hectares as of Tuesday, July 11. The fire started just south of Ashcroft at around 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 6. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

More than 120 ground crew, eight to 10 aircraft, and nine pieces of heavy equipment were tackling the fire on July 11, with numbers expected to grow with the arrival of the first of 310 firefighting personnel from other Canadian agencies, who began arriving in B.C. on July 9. They will help the BC Wildfire Service get the upper hand on the 225 wildfires that are burning in the province.

PHOTOS: Ashcroft wildfire ravages Boston Flats mobile home park

Once the hundreds of newly arrived fire crews, support staff, incident management teams, and fire investigators have been briefed, they will be deployed wherever they are needed in the province.

Although Highway 1 is officially still listed as closed from 10km south of Cache Creek to 5km east, RCMP Sgt. Kathleen Thain has confirmed that Ashcroft residents (and anyone else passing through) going to the coast can take Highway 97C from Ashcroft to the junction with Highway 1 and then turn south.

Cornwall Road remains closed.

Thain says that while Ashcroft residents travelling north from the coast can take Highway 1 to 97C and then come into Ashcroft, those who just want to visit should postpone their trip until another time. “Police suggest you stay away if you’re just visiting,” she says, noting that with things as they are, police would rather not have to worry about even more people in the town.

For highway closure information, visit www.drivebc.ca.

LIVE from the evacuation zone

She adds that those who are coming to pick up someone and take them elsewhere during the current situation are fine. Thain notes, however, that the resident who is leaving should let someone else in town know, in case of an emergency.

“Let someone else in the community know you’re going, so we don’t have to worry about you.”

Thain also says that stories of looting in Cache Creek—which remains under an evacuation order—are unfounded.

“That is the biggest piece of misinformation out there,” she says. “There have been no reports of looting, and we have not attended any incidents.”

She notes that there is a strong police presence in the village. “Members from Southeast District have been brought in to run the Emergency Operations Centre.”

VIDEO: Devastating footage from Boston Flats

Any locals worried that day-to-day policing in area communities is at risk should rest assured. “The people at the roadblocks are not from our community. Ashcroft RCMP are still answering local calls for service.

“We are responding to calls for service, and assisting [the emergency efforts] where necessary. We are here, and we will respond.”

A media tour of the Boston Flats trailer park took place at midday on Tuesday, July 11, and a number of journalists—including three from Black Press—were on hand to view the destruction, take pictures and videos, and film at the site.

Sgt. Kathleen Thain of the Ashcroft RCMP detachment confirmed that residents of Boston Flats had been allowed back in to visit the site before the media tour took place. This was done on purpose, so that those residents who wanted to visit could do so privately and without press being present. It also meant that the residents were able to see the site at first hand before any images began appearing in the media.

Just Posted

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Do-it-yourself requires sophisticated tools

“I am all for working on your own vehicle if you relish the challenge …” Nutini writes

May they rest in peace

Letter to the Editor from Don Birkenes of Trail

Starbucks baristas in Trail donate $7,000 in tips

Funds will go toward the breakfast program in five Kootenay Columbia elementary schools

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi’s killing

Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Mixing business and family: Trudeau turns to Singapore ancestors to widen trade

Trudeau’s ancestor, Esther Bernard, born Farquhar (1796-1838) was the daughter of Major-General William Farquhar (1774-1839), the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore.

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Most Read