techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com May 26, 2019


Wildfire prompts evacuation order, state of emergency in central BC

15 May 2019, 09:14 | Glen Norman

Fire crews make 'good progress' fighting human-caused blaze in central B.C. wildfire

Crews 'very encouraged' by progress on Central B.C. wildfire

An evacuation order has been downgraded to an alert as crews in north-central British Columbia make progress battling a significant wildfire.

She describes the conditions as of Sunday evening.

The blaze was one of several sparked over the weekend, including a nine-hectare fire in northeastern B.C., about 30 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John.

The BC Wildfire Service says the blaze was discovered on Friday, May 3.

Gerry Thiessen, board chair with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, said even though winds died down overnight, the big concern is a change in the weather pattern arriving Sunday into Monday.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued a state of emergency Saturday night and ordered the evacuation of an area near the community of Lejac, while an evacuation alert is in place for residents in parts of Lejac near Highway 16.

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The BC Wildfire Service says that as of Sunday, the fire was considered 70% "guarded" but zero per cent contained.

A dry winter and spring means the snowpack is low in the region, making it more vulnerable to fires, he said.

The fire is now 10 hectares, and Molly Blower from B.C. Wildfire said residents in the area are believed to be OK.

Another wildfire, about a hectare in size, broke out Saturday east of Prince George near Giscome.

Having grown up in the area, Thiessen said wildfires are not uncommon in July and August, but it's rare to have such a large blaze so early in the season.

Fire near Fraser Lake.

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"We've gone since nearly Christmas - very early in January - since we've had significant snowfall".

Twenty firefighters, four air tankers and several pieces of heavy equipment have been deployed to fight the fire.

"This is very unusual and it's concerning and I just hope people are careful as we go through this summer".

The wildfire is believed to be human-caused, but that is still under investigation.

"The bombers have been at the fire for a while now, we are all praying they can get this fire out fast and all the homes and people stay safe", Fraser Lake mayor Sarrah Storey wrote on Facebook at about 6 p.m. Saturday.

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