Gold Bridge fire grows to 850 hectares, sending smoke as far south as Squamish 

Some residents already evacuated with others on alert


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Highway 40 connecting Gold Bridge to Lillooet has also been closed, meaning any evacuees will have to leave the Bridge River Valley via a forest service road, known as the Hurley, to Pemberton.

In Whistler residents woke up to air thick with smoke Monday.

Early rumours had a new fire breaking out in the Daisy Lake dam area, but the Coastal Fire Centre quickly threw water on those after determining that no new fires were burning in the area. While there is a fire burning in Garibaldi Park it is less than one hectare and mostly contained.

It is more likely the smoke is coming from Tyaughton Lake area fire, which is about 65 kilometres west of Lillooet.

There are a number of outdoor activities businesses in the area, which is popular for backcountry hiking, mountain biking and fishing.

A worker reached at Tyax Resort said: "We are too busy to talk right now."

Whistler residents Jane and Dale Douglas have a home within the evacuated area and run an air service locally.

"I think the way the fire is going we think it has missed our place," she said adding that the phones have been out for two days already along Gun Lake Road.

There was no answer by phone at some of the other businesses in the area.

"An evacuation order was issued (Sunday night)," said Elise Riedlinger, fire information officer for the CFC at Kamloops.

"There are some cabins a few homes and they have been evacuated and there is an evacuation alert for the surrounding areas as well.

"We did have winds (Sunday) that moved the fire in a southerly direction toward Carpenter Lake and fire officials are hopeful that this will provide a natural barrier and prevent the fire spreading any further in that direction.

"We are getting significant smoke off this fire."

The fire was person-caused and the circumstances are still under investigation.

"We really want to remind people that human caused fires take away critical resources that we need for naturally occurring lightening caused fires," said Riedlinger.

"Conditions are drier than usual for this time of the year. We are seeing conditions more similar to mid-summer and because we do have a hot and dry forecast for the next week or so we are being very cautious."

For more information on evacuations please contact the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District at 1-800-298-7753.

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