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KELLY LAKE, B.C. – The Bearhole Lake forest fire has moved 12 km in the last 24 hours and will continue to move due to strong winds in the area.

The fire is over 5,200 hectares in size and, with wind gusts in the area of 60 km/h hour on Sunday, the fire is expected to grow even further.  

Highway 52E remains closed, and the community of Kelly Lake remains under an evacuation order that was issued Sunday evening by the Peace River Regional District.

Scott Rennick with the B.C. Wildfire Service says strong winds in the area on Sunday have caused the fire to be very aggressive. With the wind, B.C. Wildfire Service Crews cannot be placed in front of the fire. Instead, crews will try to channel the fire in a different direction.  

Equipment strike teams that include a mix of heavy equipment and helicopters have been working in the area to help build fire guards.

Watch the full update from the B.C. Wildfire Service below.

Fire Protection Specialists have also been in the community of Kelly Lake since Sunday and are supervising crews setting up sprinklers near houses and other structures in the community.

Crews have been fighting the fire 24 hours a day, but Rennick cautions safety of personnel on the ground remains their top priority. If the behaviour of the fire becomes even more aggressive with the strong winds, they will have to pull out crews for their own safety.  

The Peace River Regional District says any residents that remain in the evacuation zone should leave the area immediately. 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.

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.

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Adam ReaburnGeneral Manager/Owner

Adam Reaburn is the owner of Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca. Adam has been working in broadcasting for over 20 years. Adam and his wife Tammy have lived in Fort St. John for over 18 years.