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Wildfire leads to closure of Highway 97 between Kamloops and Vernon

DriveBC has confirmed the highway is closed from 16 kilometres east of Monte Creek to Salmon River Road. Detours are available via highways 97A, 97B and 1.

A portion of Highway 97 between Kamloops and Vernon has been closed due to the growing White Rock Lake wildfire.

DriveBC has confirmed the highway is closed due to wildfire activity from 16 kilometres east of Monte Creek and Salmon River Road. Detours are available via highways 97A, 97B and 1.

That section of highway is expected to be closed for the rest of Thursday (Aug. 5) and through Friday, with the next update expected at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of more homes — including the entire community of Falkland along Highway 97 — were ordered ordered evacuated due to the wildfire.

Hwy 97 map

The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has issued an evacuation order for Falkland, located 73 kilometres east of Kamloops, including the Cedar Creek and Pinaus Lake areas. In addition to the order, the evacuation alert in the area has been expanded to include Silver Creek, Deep Creek and Gardom Lake.

Residents are asked to register at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort in Salmon Arm and to call the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District Emergency Operations Centre at 250-833-3350 for more information.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for 271 more homes near Westwold and Monte Creek. 

Wind is set to increase activity in the White Rock Lake wildfire beginning on Thursday (Aug. 5), according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Sustained 25 km/h southwesterly winds, gusting up to 40 km/h, are forecast to begin as early as the afternoon.

As of Aug. 5, the White Rock Lake wildfire is estimated to be 32,000 hectares in size.