100 Mile House fire evacuees leaning on Kamloops as safe haven

By Chad Klassen
July 10, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: July 10, 2017 - 6:21pm

KAMLOOPS — Thompson Rivers University is the biggest evacuation facility for many of the thousands who have been forced to flee their homes.

Now evacuees are pouring in from 100 Mile House, forced to flee their homes on Sunday night after the mayor Mitch Campsall signed an order for the town to evacuate. 

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

"It was kind of fast. All just word of mouth pretty. I had a scanner, so I was listening to the scanner, and once I heard the fire was at the 101 [Mile House] and they were fighting it, and evenutally said they couldn't hold it much longer, they said to evacuate the people of 100 Mile House and everyone started to pack up and go," said 100 Mile House resident Bill Shillito. 

Instead of heading north to Prince George, where most Cariboo evacuees are being encouraged to go after the evacuation order, Shillito and other neighbours — and hundreds of other 100 Mile House residents — arrived at the evacuation centre in kamloops Sunday night and Monday morning. 

"We left 100 Mile House around 9:30 last night. All of a sudden the winds changed direction and the town filled with smoke," said 100 Mile House resident AnnMarie Brown. 

Some residents came and didn't know where to go. But as of late Monday afternoon, the TNRD saidat least 1,200 people have been registered with people waiting for more assistance. 

"Here, really good. There's food, water. They're always going around checking on you to make sure you're ok."

Amid all the chaos, a group of boys from the Cariboo got in a game of basketball to relieve some stress them and their families are enduring. 

"It's definitely helping getting your mind off things," said Kody Worden from 108 Mile House. "I'd probably be worrying about the fire and getting updates on it if I wasn't doing this."

While 100 Mile House residents like Shillito noted the fire is about a mile from town — at last check Monday afternoon — they're still keeping a close eye on their properties. 

"Nervous. Just waiting to see what the fire does. Helping friends out if I can, keeping in touch with family members and just listening to what's going on with the fire."

Major delays due to smoke at Kamloops Airport