As many as 3,000 residents in central British Columbia have been told to evacuate as a wind-fanned wildfire grows closer.

Cariboo Regional District chairman Al Richmond said Friday that the evacuation order applies to 1,800 properties northwest of Kamloops. Richmond says changes in wind direction and the threat of heavy smoke prompted officials to order people to leave properties around 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House.

BC Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek says the Gustafsen wildfire broke out Thursday. He says the 4.6-square-mile (12-square-kilometer) blaze is burning west of 100 Mile House and its cause is not yet known.

Skrepnek says 120 firefighters are working to build breaks along the fire's eastern flank, nearest to the communities ordered to evacuate.