The surge in evacuees came after strong winds prompted an evacuation order for more than 10,000 residents of Williams Lake over the weekend. "The amplitude of it, the severity of it and the timing and is still very much in the air right now". "Volunteers here are trying to look after every small detail, whether it be toiletries or supplies for people's pets".
In the Lower Mainland, the wildfire reception centre in Cloverdale is open 7am til 9pm. The majority of them sought refuge in the south, in Kamloops. "It was just chaos". "We have only one way to go, and that's south to Kamloops".
Aaron Baker sat outside the arena with a ticket stub corresponding with the cot he would be able to sleep in that night.
"I think basically, Mother Nature is sort of bringing forward our worst case scenario", Richmond said.
He fled Fort McMurray during last year's wildfires there, too.
"I have seen a couple of vehicles drive around", Cobb said.
Thousands of residents in the central B.C. Interior city of Williams Lake scrambled to leave their homes on Saturday, after high winds fanned a wildfire burning outside the city and prompted an evacuation order.
Mack stressed it was the community directing and doing the firefighting, although they were co-ordinating their efforts with the B.C. Wildfire Service.
For the latest wildfire info, call the B.C. Wildfire Service at 1-888-336-7378. As well, it's still early in the wildfire season. Imperial Metals Corp and Taseko Mines Ltd said separately on Monday they had suspended operations at mines in the area.
"We do not disclose any figures yet", he said, adding that his team was sticking to "many" houses.
Dave Cady of the Williams Lake Indian Band said he understood the fire jumped the Fraser River on the west side of Williams Lake, north of town. Fifteen of those fires pose an immediate threat to communities, the largest of those is burning near Ashcroft and now covers 423 square kilometres. "Winds have been a huge factor in terms of fire activity so far over the last few weeks, so that's definitely a cause for concern".
With hot and dry conditions to persist for the foreseeable future, firefighters won't be able to depend on the weather for reprieve while battling the more than 160 active fires now burning.
"It's complex", Dupont said.
Meantime Evacuation Alerts were issued to several other areas Saturday, including the community of Clearwater.
Also, the numbers vary, but between 200 and 300 homes have been evacuated, according to Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor.
Lake Country officials said residents hoping to get back to their homes on Sunday were being turned away.
Meanwhile, provincial parks and recreation sites in the Cariboo are already closed to the public.
"We're also sending free temporary licences for those that have lost their licence in the fire, and we're also waiving deductibles for customers whose auto has been damaged as a result of using non-traditional roads, like a service road, because of an evacuation order".