UPDATE: PRRD issues evacuation order for Kelly Lake

Update: Residents are now being instructed to leave the area via Highway 671 to Range Road 131 and then North to Highway 43 as the preferred exit route because it is expected that there will be significant smoke limiting visibility along Highway 52 East.

KELLY LAKE, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation order for all residents of Kelly Lake. The evacuation order issued for the community of Kelly Lake is described as:

  • 4 km West of the Alberta border
  • 5 km North of Kelly Lake until 5km South of Kelly Lake

The PRRD says residents must leave the area immediately due to immediate danger to life, safety and health due to wildfire. RCMP members, Search and Rescue, and other applicable agencies will be expediting this action.

Due to heavy smoke in the area, residents are now being instructed to leave the area via Highway 671 to Range Road 131 and then North to Highway 43 as the preferred exit route because it is expected that there will be significant smoke limiting visibility along Highway 52 East.

“Right now, it is critical that we focus on protecting human life, and to do this, we need all residents under evacuation order to leave the impacted areas immediately. This is the best way to ensure the safety of yourself and your family,” said PRRD chair Brad Sperling.

“Now is the time to work together. We all have a part to play in ensuring the safety of our communities, and the best thing we can do now is be prepared, be informed, and most of all be safe”.

After evacuating, residents must then register at a Reception/Registration Centre to access Emergency Support Services (assistance with lodging & food) at either of the following locations:

  • The Reception Centre at the City of Dawson Creek City Hall,- 10105 12A Street, Dawson Creek, BC
  • The Registration Centre at Beaverlodge Community Centre, 1014 4 Avenue, Beaverlodge, AB 

The District says anyone who evacuates to Alberta will need to pay for the expenses out of pocket and may or may not be reimbursed at a later date. Persons evacuating to Dawson Creek will be provided with lodging, food vouchers and incidentals.

The PRRD says it is critical that all evacuees register at one of the centers.

The District adds that the Beaverlodge reception center will close at 10:00 p.m local time and reopen at 10:00 a.m. The Dawson Creek reception center will close at 10:00 p.m. local time, but evacuees can get assistance after-hours by calling 250-784-4681.

Highway 52E has been closed in the area due to the fire.

Starting tomorrow, two members of the Charlie Lake Volunteer Fire Department will be deployed to support ongoing fire suppression efforts, according to a PRRD release.

Residents impacted by Evacuation orders or alerts are encouraged to contact the PRRD at 1-800-670-7773 for planning and assistance with any transportation, mobility, health, or other needs.

PRRD residents are encouraged to monitor prrd.bc.ca and bcwildfire.ca for
further updates regarding active wildfires in the region.

The Bearhole Lake fire has grown to over 5,000 hectares in size since Saturday. It was expected that strong winds this weekend would help to drive the growth of the fire.

On top of the evacuation order, the BC Wildfire Service has expanded its Area Restriction Order for the vicinity of the Bearhole Lake wildfire (G72178) following sustained aggressive fire behaviour. The size of the area restriction reflects the continued need to protect the public.

This order takes effect at 16:00 (4:00 pm) PDT on September 4, 2022, and remains in force until the earlier of 12:00 (noon) PDT on September 18, 2022, or until the Order is rescinded.

The order applies to crown land within the geographic boundary outlined below and shown on the map provided:

South Boundary: Commencing at the junction of Hwy 52 and Redwillow Branch FSR (Point #1: (W)120°14.56′ (N)54°56.79′), travel 24.6 km @ a bearing of 89.4° to the northern shore of Hambrook Lake (Point #2: (W)120°37.55′ (N)54°56.69′).

West Boundary: Commencing at Point #2, travel 29.8 km @ a bearing of 179° to the junction of All Weather Road’ 00285′ and Road Permit’ R08539-Y’ (Point #3: (W)120°40.29′ (N)55°12.65′).

North Boundary: Commencing at Point #3, travel 27.5 km @ a bearing of 269.2° to the junction of Hwy 52 and Kiskatinaw Pit Road (Point #4: (W)120°12.31′ (N)55°12.83′). Then travel north along Hwy 52 to the northern boundary of survey parcel ‘DL 416′ (Point #5: (W)120°06.28′ (N)55°19.71’).

East Boundary: Commencing at Point #5, travel east along the northern boundary of survey parcel ‘DL 416’, follow the northern boundary of ‘DL 333’, then follow along the western and southern boundary of ‘DL 411’, continuing south along the western boundary of survey parcels ‘DL 410’ ‘DL 409’ ‘DL 407’ ‘DL 401’ ‘DL 312’ ‘DL 400’ ‘DL 402’ ‘DL 403’ and ‘DL 404’ to the southwestern corner of ‘DL 404′ (Point #6: (W)120°04.25′ (N)55°14.58′). From Point #6, travel 2.1 km @ a bearing of 155.4° to the end of All Weather Road’ 03729′ (Point #7: (W)120°03.43′ (N)55°13.56′). Then travel south along All Weather Road’ 03729′ to ‘00287’ and then continue along Road Permit’ R23489′ to where it intersects with All Weather Road’ 00288′ (Point #8: (W)120°01.78′ (N)55°07.34′). Travel 23.9km @ a bearing 34.7° to Point #1.

Please review the full Evacuation Order by visiting https://prrd.bc.ca/evacuation-order-1-bearhole-lake-wildfire-g72178/

This map from the BC Wildfire Service shows the area the Bearhole Lake fire now covers.

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