Three communities evacuated as the Liard River Fire continues to spread

Photo: The Liard River Fire continues to spread – submitted

Three communities have been ordered to evacuate due to the Liard River fire.

Residents of Coal River, Fireside and the Muddy River Indian Reserve #1 have been forced to evacuate.

Chief Administrator Officer for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Randy McLean says people will be relocated to a nearby community.

[asset|aid=1467|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=f74a9bf5b1217d9f41916d8d81b6f594-Randy McLean 1_1_Pub.mp3]

There are around 60 residents in total from the three communities, although it is unknown if the reserve is occupied.  The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality has set up an emergency centre in Fort Nelson, you can call 250-774-3955.

During the night, the fire has expanded to over 100 square kilometers in size. Fire Information officer Jillian Chimko says the dry and windy conditions caused the fire to balloon so quickly.

The fire has caused the Alaska Highway to be closed between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake. The road will only be open to local residents who will be permitted to travel home.

All others will be denied access to the highway until further notice. The Regional District has installed barricades at each community.  For more details on the highway call 250-774-6956.

Chimko says the Alaska Highway was blocked off as a precautionary measure, because the fire is expected to reach the highway by six o’clock on Thursday night.

[asset|aid=1468|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=f74a9bf5b1217d9f41916d8d81b6f594-Chimko fire update 2_1_Pub.mp3]

The BC wildfire website is reporting that a structural protection unit is arriving to assist with protecting structures in the area. Chimko says the unit is like a big sprinkler, to prevent the fire from spreading.

Meanwhile, Deanna Hill from the visitor information center says most accommodations are booked up in Fort Nelson.  For a list of current availabilities in Fort Nelson Click Here

She is recommending travelers to postpone any plans of traveling up North.


View Communities threatened in a larger map