Officials Warning Public To Stay Away From Beatton Airport Fire Area

Photo of the 2016 Beatton Airport Road Fire/Photo: Anne Lennox

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As BC Wildfire Service crews continue their assault on the Beatton Airport Road Fire, they are warning the public that any unnecessary presence can hinder their operations.

Speaking with Energeticcity.ca this morning, Ellie Dupont says that crews have had several issues with members of the public infringing on the fire suppression area. Fire suppression areas are denoted as a work environment by WorkSafe BC, and as such are usually blocked off to public access. Dupont says that the importance of maintaining control over the area will increase later this week.

While the fire is currently zero percent contained, Dupont says that the fire still sits at 15,000 hectares in size, meaning no new growth has occurred in several days. Crews are anticipating that conditions will allow them to begin conducting controlled burn operations near the fire’s perimeter starting as early as Wednesday, which could result in more smoke plumes becoming visible in the surrounding area. These controlled burn operations also pose a great danger to any trespassers within the fire suppression area.

133 firefighters, 7 helicopters, 16 pieces of heavy equipment, and an 11-member Incident Management Team are currently involved in efforts against the wildfire.

An evacuation alert enacted by the PRRD remains in place around the fire, information on that alert can be found at http://www.prrd.bc.ca/. Smoke forecasts from the fire can be found at http://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/viewer/run/ops/BSC18CA12/current/.

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