Princeton-area fire “out of control”

Children’s camp evacuated

A 200-hectare forest fire just north of Princeton is being classified tonight as “out of control” by BC Wildfire Management.

“It is growing quickly, with high winds in the area,” said Justine Hunse, communications officer for the service.

Thirty-four properties between Summer Creek Road and Dry Lake on Highway 5A were evacuated earlier in the day.

Those residences include a children’s camp, Camp Tulahead. Dozens of young people were bussed to Merritt, as the road to Princeton was closed, and officials say everyone is safely accounted for.

One of Princeton’s largest employers, Weyerhaeuser Mill, cancelled its Friday night shift and sent employees home, because of the proximity of the blaze.

Thirty firefighters from BC Wildfire are on scene assisted by the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department.

They are aided by air support and heavy equipment, said Hunse.

According to Hunse, “structures have been impacted” by the fire, but she could not provide details.

Riverside Centre in Princeton has been established as an evacuation centre for people fleeing their homes. As of 8 p.m. Friday nine families had registered and received vouchers for food and lodging.

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