Fire update: Beatton Airport Road fire grows to 9,500 hectares

The Beatton Airport Road fire. Photo from the BC Wildfire Service.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The fire near Beatton Airport Road is now reportedly 9,500 hectares in size.

Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds confirmed that 87 firefighters have been assigned to this fire, along with five helicopters and heavy equipment.

The Siphon Creek fire is 9,000 hectares in size, with 30 firefighters and three helicopters assigned to it. BC has agreed to fight this fire on the other side of the provincial border, as Alberta’s firefighting resources are tied up battling the inferno in Fort McMurray.

She also said the Stoddart Road fire, near Mile 73 Road and the Alaska Highway, is 50 hectares in size, with eleven fire fighting personnel attacking it, along with two helicopters. This fire prompted an evacuation alert from the PRRD.

In total, the PRRD has issued five evacuation alerts, for the Mile 80 area, the Beatton Airport Road area, the Cecil Lake/Goodlow area, the area north of the Doig River, and the area near Siphon Creek.

Two evacuation orders have been issued for the Doig River and the Blueberry River First Nations.

Reynolds said the most challenging winds occurred yesterday, pushing the fires south. The winds are forecast to be 20 to 25 kilometres an hour today, but the area could see southwestern winds gusting up to 40 kilometres an hour.