Too Early in the Year for Wildfires

A wildfire in central British Columbia has prompted a local state of emergency and several evacuations.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued a state of emergency last night and ordered people to leave an area near the community of Lejac, about five kilometres east of Fraser Lake.

District Chair Gerry Thiessen is urging people to be mindful of fire safety in the backcountry.

“These kinds of fires are way too early in the year. We use to have fires in July and August when I was young, and to have one in May is very unusual and very concerning."

Thiessen says fire crews have managed to hold the blaze, which is estimated to cover roughly 260 hectares.

The evacuation order only affects a handful of homes, but several dozen others are under an evacuation alert, meaning they have to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

According to Thiessen, officials are still looking into what caused the fire.

“We certainly didn’t have any lightening that we’re aware of and so to our concern is, was it human cause?”

The BC Wildfire Service says the blaze was discovered on Friday, May 3.

Twenty firefighters, four air tankers and several pieces of heavy equipment have been deployed to fight the fire.