Warm weather causing forest fires to flare up

This photo was provided on April 29 of the forest fire near Goodlow.

UPDATE:  As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the Voight Creek fire is now 85 per cent contained and 31 hectares in size.  The Clearview fire is now 75 per cent contained and 48 hectares in size.  Power has been restored to residents in the area of those fires.  Crews continue to fight both fires.

ORIGINAL STORY

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Warm weather and strong winds have forced the Peace River Regional District to issue two evacuation alerts.

The alerts are in place for the Cecil Lake/Goodlow area and the Siphon Creek area.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the fire causing the most concern is the Siphon Creek fire.  That fire has grown from 1,400 hectares on Friday to over 4,000 on Sunday.  According to the Forest service, the fire activity has increased to such extreme levels, it is unsafe for crews to fight the fire.

The fire is moving in the direction of the Alberta border and crews will continue to monitor the fire from the air.  At this point air tankers and helicopters cannot be used to fight the fire as officials believe they would be unsuccessful in bringing the fire under control.

The evacuation alert for the Siphon Creek fire is as follows:

  • 256 Road from the 221 Road to the Alberta border, 22 km north along the Alberta border,
  • west to the Osborn River, south along the Osborn River to the intersection of the Siphon
  • Creek Road and 243 Road then east to the 256 Road
  • Includes all civic addresses on:
  • Siphon Creek Road
  • Osborn Road
  • 268 Road
  • Doig Road to the Osborn River
  • Buekert Avenue
  • McTavish Trail
  • PDR Osborn ACC
  • Osborn Dump Road

Here is a map of the evacuation alert in the Siphon Creek area:

This map show the area under an evacuation alert because of the Siphon Creek fire.
This map show the area under an evacuation alert because of the Siphon Creek fire.

The other evacuation alert covers the Cecil Lake/Goodlow area.  There are two fires burning in that area.  The latest estimates put the Voight fire at 10 hectares and the Clearview fire is 12 hectares.  The evacuation alert was issued for this area after forecasts were issued that show the fires could grow over the next couple of days.

Here is the area under an evacuation alert in the Cecil Lake/Goodlow area:

  • 244 Road from the Alces River west to 223 Road
  • 223 Road between 244 Road and Cecil Lake Road
  • 221 Road between Cecil Lake Road and just north of the 252 Road
  • 221 Road off of the 224 Road
  • 250 Road and 252 Road off of 221 Road
  • 217 Road between 244 Road and just north of the Cecil Lake Road
  • Cecil Lake Road between 2895 Cecil Lake Road and the Alces River
  • 219 Road off of Cecil Lake Road

Here is a map of the Cecil Lake/Goodlow evacuation alert

This map shows the area that is under an evacuation alert in Cecil Lake.
This map shows the area that is under an evacuation alert in Cecil Lake.

A total of 17 firefighters and one helicopter are working the Clearview fire and 15 firefighters and one helicopter is working the Voight fire.

Officials continue to stress that residents can play an important role in preventing forest fires at this time of year.  There is still a fire ban in place for all category 2 and 3 fires.  The only fires allowed at this time are camp fires that are less than half a metre in size.

Residents should also check old burn piles to make sure they were properly extinguished.  This even includes old fires from last fall that were put out before winter.  These fires can still flare up and cause a large fire.

Environment Canada doesn’t predict any relief for this area anytime soon.  On Monday they predict the temperature will reach 26 degrees and then 27 on Tuesday.  Things will cool off on Wednesday and Thursday with highs near 18 and 16.  Then the weather will warm back up again by the weekend up to 21 and 24 on Friday and Saturday.  There is no rain in the forecast.

The good news is there were no new forest fires on Sunday and crews have been successful with both the Beatton Airport Road Fire and the fire 2km north of the Doig River First Nation.  The Beatton Airport Road Fire is now fully contained and crews working the Doig Fire made good progress on Sunday.

If you spot a forest fire, make sure you first call #5555 on your cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.  Also send us any information you have about local fires to news@moosefm.ca.  This includes any pictures or video.