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Residents spurn evacuation in BC

Most of 100 people near Clinton, BC refuse to evacuate

VANCOUVER, British Columbia | August 22, 2012

The majority of 100 people told to flee a wildfire in a south-central British Columbia town were refusing Wednesday, emergency officials said.

The fire that's been burning since Tuesday around Clinton, nearly 200 miles northeast of Vancouver, has already destroyed two homes, although officials said it wasn't immediately known if the buildings had been evacuated, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Local and provincial officials along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began issuing evacuation orders Tuesday night, but only three families left.

Regional emergency spokeswoman Liz Cornwell told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. the Mounties were frustrated by the families' response.

"The RCMP did in fact go door to door and asked them to leave, and in the end the RCMP can't force them to leave their homes," said Cornwell.

More than 40 fighters using heavy earth-moving equipment were being supported by aerial drops by two helicopters and two tanker aircraft, the CBC said.

Efforts to battle the fire that's scorched 250 acres were being hampered by the steep terrain, the reports said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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