Wildfire update: New wildfire reported near Tumbler Ridge, Tentfire Creek fire reclassified

TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – The District of Tumbler Ridge assures residents there is currently no safety risk as a n…

TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – The District of Tumbler Ridge assures residents there is currently no safety risk as a new wildfire has started in its boundary.

The fire is around one hectare in size and is approximately 8 kilometres from the town.

The district and BC Wildfire Service received reports of a visible column of smoke west of Tumbler Ridge around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The Tumbler Ridge Fire Department and BCWS responded to the area to further assess the situation. However, ground workers could not begin suppression activities due to the condition of secondary roads and overall terrain.

As of Thursday afternoon, the district says ground crews and helicopters are aggressively attacking this fire.

“The cause of this fire is currently unknown. Forecasted precipitation in the coming days will also aid in the control of this fire,” said the district in a release.

The Tentfire Creek wildfire that has been burning for the past couple of weeks has now grown to  2,800 hectares and is approximately 17 kilometres away from the town site of Tumbler Ridge.

The fire was reclassified as out of control out as a precaution due to the hot, dry weather that was anticipated for the area.

Over the long weekend, the BC WS successfully conducted several planned ignition events, covering approximately 650 hectares and spanning a length of 4 kilometres.

“The objective for this burn was to reinforce equipment lines to the existing burn off from the fire guard on the eastern side of the fire,” said the district.

The fire near Hook Creek is covering around 258 hectares and is still being monitored by BCWS and BC Parks representatives. Monkman Provincial Park remains closed at the park boundary, and signage has been put up warning the travelling public of the closure.

Due to the dry conditions, the District of Tumbler Ridge has implemented a burning restriction within the municipal area until further notice. This restriction includes campfires and all other restricted activities in effect for the Prince George Fire Centre. The use of certified portable camping pits displaying a ULC or CSA certification will remain permitted.

The Fort St. John and Dawson Creek area will see periods of light smoke over the next few days, according to FireSmoke Canada. As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, the air quality index for Fort St. John and area is at a two, which is low risk.

Moving further north, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality issued an education order for the Helmut area on Tuesday. There are four fires in the area ranging from 15 to 287 hectares. The NRRM also declared a state of emergency before the order, and it will remain in effect until August 10th.

There are currently 64 active wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre.

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