Travellers had to drive through a forest fire at Riske Creek Saturday to get back to Williams Lake, which was also surrounded by wildfires. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune)

VIDEO: Thousands evacuate Williams Lake by school bus

Multiple fires are raging out of control in the Cariboo

Thousands of evacuees from Williams Lake and the surrounding areas spilled out onto Hwy. 97 south Saturday evening following an evacuation order due to the wildfires.

Gusting winds in the region are causing fires to grow and spread. BC Wildfire Service ground crews have been pulled out of the area. Several large fires are burning out of control around the city; the Spokin Lake fire, the Fox Mountain fire and the Wildwood fire, all just east of Williams Lake, were fanned by the strong winds.

More threatening for the city residents however, has been the White Lake fire located west of Williams Lake which continues to grow, sending plumes of smoke into the air. The White Lake fire has jumped the Fraser River near the Rudy Johnson Bridge, northwest of Williams Lake, and travelled across a portion of Old Soda Creek Road. Officials have been fearing the large aggressive fire would jump the river all week.

When the fire jumped the bridge, it went up the highway, forcing officials to change their evacuation plans. As of Sunday morning, the fire was in the forest just north of the West Fraser Mill which is located on the Old Soda Creek Road.

Currently, Hwy. 97 north of Williams Lake is again open for evacuees. Hundreds of RCMP officers are on scene to help with the evacuation.

WATCH: Thousands evacuated to Kamloops from Williams Lake

More to come.

Just Posted

Alberni Valley Regional Airport closed due to flooding

Airport estimated to reopen in two to three days

Josephine Street Bridge closure extended

Restoration has been delayed due to poor weather

Vehicle rolls over at bottom of hump, driver not found

Port Alberni RCMP are still investigating

LNG project given a traditional Huu-ay-aht name

Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG have announced new name for co-managed project

Port Alberni tackles “big city” problems

City’s compliance staff unable to take on emerging challenges

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

Nanaimo suspect with ‘shopping list’ breaks into two bait cars in one day

Woman busted after incidents in early-morning hours Wednesday, Nov. 22

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Propane explosion destroys fifth wheel in Nanaimo

No one hurt but trailer destroyed when propane leak ignites in Harewood

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read