UPDATE: BC Wildfire Service deploys incident management team to Fort St. John

An incident management team has been sent to Fort St. John to support and organize wildfire suppression efforts and supply information about the larger fires in the area.

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Red Creek wildfire on Saturday, May 6, 2023. (Energeticcity.ca)

UPDATE #2: According to the PRRD, BC Wildfire has advised they are placing Structure Protection Units on both sides of Hwy 97 at Red Creek wildfire as a precautionary measure. Learn about SPUs at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/wildfire-response/wildfire-personnel-and-response-tools/structure-protection

Update: This story has been updated to include information for evacuated residents on Temporary Entry Permits from the Peace River Regional District.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — An incident management team has been sent to Fort St. John to support and organize wildfire suppression efforts and supply information about the larger fires in the area.

“This will allow the Fort St. John Fire Zone to prioritize initial attack while dedicated resources continue to action the larger incidents,” said the Prince George Wildfire Centre in a release Monday.

The Boundary Lake wildfire, which started in Alberta, is now at approximately 5,900 hectares. Three initial attack crews and four helicopters are responding to the wildfire.

The Prince George Fire Centre says crews worked late into the night on Saturday to secure areas of concern on the north and south flanks, as well as connect fire guard to existing roads.

The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) reduced the size of the evacuation order on Sunday while an evacuation alert remains in place.

Doig River First Nation sent out an advisory to the community on actions to take in order to prepare for an evacuation. The First Nation has set up an Emergency Operations Centre and has transportation, accommodation and emergency services ready in case an evacuation is issued.

School District 60 announced Monday that Clearview School will be closed from May 8th to May 12th due to the Boundary Lake evacuation order.

According to the fire centre, the Red Creek fire grew to 2,800 hectares and is still considered out of control. It is now suspected that a human caused the fire. Four initial attack crews, one unit crew, one officer, two helicopters and structure protection specialists are responding to the wildfire.

Over the weekend, crews focused on reinforcing the east flank, using east and southeast winds to burn fuel between the fire and the guard. Crews worked from north to south, securing the east flank in anticipation of winds switching to the west on Sunday evening.

Areas of Red Creek are under an evacuation order, and others are under an evacuation alert.

The fire near Cameron River grew to 280 hectares and is still out of control. 

The fire near the Peace River Corridor Park is now being held at 15 hectares, and the cause is still under investigation.

The out-of-control wildfire south of Bissette Creek is now being held at one hectare.

The fire near 217 Road grew to 65 hectares but is now considered under control by the Prince George Fire Centre.

The Coffee Creek wildfire is no longer considered a wildfire of note and is now under control at 63 hectares.

The human-caused Wabby Hill fire is now under control at one hectare.

The eight-hectare Boucher Road wildfire is now under control.

The 100-hectare fire northwest of Highway 29 and Moberly Lake is now under control.

The Blueberry River wildfire grew to 154 hectares but is now considered under control by the Prince George Fire Centre.

Wildfires in the region have closed roads, including Cecil Lake Road, Clayhurst Road, Red Creek Road and Cecil Lake Road. There is limited visibility on Rose Prairie Road and the end of Cecil Lake Road, according to DriveBC.

Those with a legitimate need to temporarily access areas under evacuation order can now apply for a temporary access permit. To apply, contact the PRRD at 250-784-4832 before 5 p.m.

There are approximately 19 active wildfires in northeast B.C.

Wildfire smoke from northern Alberta and local fires still affects northeastern B.C., despite the risk listed as low on the air quality index website.

Updates on evacuation alerts and orders in the regional district will be posted on PRRD’s website.

For the latest information on wildfires, visit BC Wildfire Service’s website.

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