UPDATE: The article has been changed to include further information received from the BC Wildfire Service on the area restriction order.
FORT NELSON, B.C. — The Peace River Regional District has cancelled its evacuation order for the Donnie Creek Wildfire, although the area is now under an area restriction order managed by the BC Wildfire Service.
A restriction order is a legal document administered through a local fire centre to prohibit access to areas where there are ongoing fire suppression activities, according to the province.
The fire service’s order includes the following areas:
- Starting at the intersection of Highway 97 and Buckinghorse River at coordinate A (57° 23.124, -122° 51.189),
- Then, heading north along Highway 97 to the intersection of Highway 97 and the Prophet River at coordinate B (58° 01.810, -122° 43.373)
- Then, heading east to coordinate C (57° 59.901, -120° 43.407),
- Then, moving southeasterly to coordinate D on the Fontas Road (57° 46.046, -120° 18.934),
- Then, following the Fontas Road south to the intersection with Wildmint Connector Road at coordinate E (57° 02.821, -120° 34.279),
- Moving southwesterly to coordinate F (57° 00.498, -120° 38.265),
- Westerly to Highway 97 (Alaska Highway) to coordinate G (57° 02.256, -122° 27.490),
- Follow Highway 97 northerly to the starting point at coordinate A (57° 23.124, -122° 51.189).
A person is only allowed to enter the restricted area if they are travelling to or from their home, using a highway, travelling as an official, helping support wildfire suppression efforts, or operating a commercial or industrial operation within one kilometre of the Alaska Highway.
The 310,805-hectare Donnie Creek Wildfire is still considered out of control and is believed to be caused by lightning. An evacuation order had been in place for the wildfire since May 13th.
As of June 8th, residents in the following areas can return home:
- The area North of Grewatsch Creek on PDR 222,
- The area North of km 44 on Tommy Lakes Road,
- To the junction of Horse Range Creek and Sikanni Chief River,
- Northeast along Sikanni Chief River to the Peace River Regional District,
- The area North of km 20 on PDR 204 (Beatton Airport Road), and
- Extending North to the border with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
The PRRD also expanded its evacuation alert, adding the following areas:
- One km east of Sikanni Creek, south on Highway 97, north to Pink Mountain;
- Due east to a point where it intersects with West Milligan Creek;
- Due north 24 km; and
- West to the point of intersection (Sikanni Creek one km east of Highway 97).
The areas listed in the previous evacuation alert update are still under an alert, according to the PRRD.
The district notes that an evacuation order may need to be reissued in the future.