Strong winds expected to drive wildfire growth in the Peace region

The Peace River Regional District expects wildfires in the region will continue to grow in the next 24-48 hours due to strong winds.

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The Red Creek fire sparked at around 2 p.m. Friday and has grown quickly from 475 hectares to approximately 1,550 hectares in less than 24 hours.

(1:20 p.m.) UPDATED – The Boundary Lake fire is now estimate to be 3,000 hectares. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District expects wildfires in the region will continue to grow in the next 24-48 hours due to strong winds.

“The aggressive spread of the Red Creek and Boundary Lake wildfires are creating significant safety risks for our region, and our focus is on keeping our community members safe and supported,” said Leonard Hiebert, Chair, Peace River Regional District.

“It’s important for all residents under evacuation order to leave immediately if they have not already done so, and we have Emergency Social Services teams ready to assist you. We will also be providing residents under evacuation alerts and in surrounding areas with updates and ask that they take steps now so they are prepared to leave on short notice if necessary.”

Current Wildfire Information

As of Saturday evening, the Boundary Lake wildfire was estimated at approximately 3,000 hectares and has grown aggressively due to strong winds. Energeticcity.ca has received numerous reports that structures have been lost due to the Boundary Lake fire, and we are waiting for official confirmation on how much damage the fire has caused.

On Saturday, crews focused suppression efforts on the southwest and south flanks. The western edge and northern flank held within containment lines under conditions. On Sunday, crews will continue to work in the southwest corner. Challenging terrain in the southwest corner has slowed progress in that area. The Cecil Lake Road remains closed near the fire.

School District 60 announced on Sunday that the Clearview School would be closed on Monday due to the Boundary Lake evacuation order. The District says further information will be posted on Monday about the following days of the week. 

The Red Creek wildfire was last estimated at 1,550 hectares and growing. Portions of Red Creek Road, Cecil Lake Road, Clayhurst Road and Lower Cache Road remain closed due to the fire. Saturday, crews focused suppression efforts on the east flank and from the western edge of Red Creek road working northwards.  Crews worked with heavy equipment through Saturday night, establishing containment lines on the east flank from the lower Red Creed Road southward. Crews expect to complete the containment line on the east flank by the end of the day Sunday.

The evacuation orders and alerts issued by the Peace River Regional District for both fires remain in effect. Click here to see the latest detailed information about evacuation orders and alerts in the Peace.

The PRRD has declared a State of Local Emergency for Electoral Area B, which provides it with additional powers to respond to the wildfire situation.

The Doig River First Nation has also issued an evacuation alert due to the Boundary Lake fire.

A map of the area under an evacuation order and evacuation alert from the Boundary Lake wildfire
The area in red remains under an evacuation order from the Boundary Lake wildfire. The area in yellow is still under an evacuation alert.
A map of the area under an evacuation order and evacuation alert from the Red Creek Wildfire
The area in red remains under an evacuation order from the Red Creek wildfire. The area in yellow is still under an evacuation alert.
A map of the area under an evacuation alert from the Doig River First Nation
The Doig River First Nation has issued an evacuation alert for residents of the community.

Emergency Support for Evacuees

Residents impacted by evacuation orders or alerts can contact the PRRD at 1-800-670-7773 for planning and assistance with any transportation, mobility, health, livestock safety or other needs. 

Evacuees are urged to report to the Emergency Support Services reception centre at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John. The City of Fort St. John has secured available hotel rooms and campsites for those who may require temporary emergency accommodation. The ESS will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The City of Fort St. John is also opening City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for anyone that needs to top up their water accounts.

The City of Fort St. John has two bulk water fill stations. The main one is on the West Bypass road, and the other is beside Charlie Lake at 10374 Lakeshore Drive. RVs and trailers can access water from the municipal sani-dump/water station located at the Water Treatment facility at 8216 86 Street.

Public Alerts

With challenging wind patterns forecast for the next few days, further evacuation alerts and orders, additional road closures and other measures may be necessary as the situation evolves.

Residents can also receive direct notifications about emergency situations through the North East BC Emergency & Public Alerts. To sign up visit prrd.bc.ca and click on Emergency & Public Alerts. 

Meanwhile, the smoke from the local wildfires and nearby Alberta fires is negatively impacting air quality across the region. Environment Canada has issued an air quality alert for the area, and residents should take appropriate measures to protect their health.

The wildfire situation is also impacting other regional services. The Boundary water station is currently closed due to the wildfires. The Prespatou and Buick Creek water stations are also closed due to a power outage. 

Thanks for Reading!

Energeticcity.ca is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it–but we need your support.

 

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