UPDATE: As of 9:20 a.m. – Here is a new update from the Forest Service
Late last night the fire saw significant growth to the north. Operations are assessing the situation this morning and will be build a plan based on this occurrence.
Crews will be burning-off areas along southwest corner of the fire to remove fuels. This area is adjacent to the Alaska Highway (Highway 97) which may cause visibility issues resulting in some temporary road closures. Residents in the area should expect to see increased smoke between 10 am and 2 pm.
East Division: will continue to use heavy equipment to build and solidify control lines.
West Division: crews continue to mop-up and patrol areas.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has released a new map that shows the location of the Beatton Airport Road fire. The fire is still over 45km away from Fort St. John.
The District and the City of Fort St. John continue to stress that Fort St. John is NOT on an evacuation alert.
Below is a map that shows the location of the fire. Plus here is a map showing both the area covered under an evacuation order and alert.
In a report we first told you about Friday night, the fire is now moving to the east and away from large populated areas like Charlie Lake and the Alaska Highway. Crews were able to set up fire guards and burn fuel along the highway Friday.
The following is a video released by Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman. The video was released on Saturday.
The Regional District has also now explained by Charlie Lake and other communities were included in an evacuation alert Friday morning. The District says the alert was issued “to allow people to be prepared in the event there is a dramatic change in fire activity. The Order and Alert boundaries were drawn wide for a reason, particularly to ensure that people in remote residences with limited access were included in the area covered.”
The probability of the Beatton Airport Road fire reaching City of Fort St. John is quite low. Given the current weather conditions and the forecast, the British Columbia Wildfire Service decided that employing caution when recommending Evacuation Order and Alert areas was important.
Both the Peace River Regional District and the Blueberry First Nation have issued an Evacuation Orders for areas north of Fort St. John. The Peace River Regional District continues to maintain an Evacuation Alert for an area surrounding the Evacuation Order as a precautionary measure.
The British Columbia Wildfire Service is cautiously optimistic about this situation, but has chosen to err on the side of caution in terms of the Alert and Order areas.
The evacuation centre remains in place in Fort St. John at the North Peace Arena. Any residents that have been evacuated from their homes are reminded to check in or call 250-794-3310.
If you have been evacuated or live in an area that remains under alert, a facebook group has been setup to help provide support. You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1122475151143713/. The Group has also created a website at http://fsjwildfires.blogspot.ca/
B.C. Hydro has been able to restore power to most customers in the area. Only 14 remain without power. The Beatton Airport Road fire destroyed several power polls in the area of the fire.