Forest Fire Situation Worsens In Northwest -- Evacuation Orders Issued

For the first time this year, the BC Wildfire Service has reached Provincial Preparedless Level Four, due to the wildfire situation.

That means the province will require help from outside BC.  

Intense lightning storms have generated a significant increase in fire activity all across BC, with over 450 fires now burning.

Here in the Northwest,  an open burning ban -- which includes campfires -- set to go into effect at Noon today across the Northwest Fire Centre, as crews are dealing with several new fires that have started this week, mostly due to lightning.

The Fire Hazard remains High to Extreme for the entire region.

The Nadina Lake Fire southwest of Houston has grown to 1500 hectares.

The Bulkley-Nechako Regional District is maintaining its evacuation order for the east end of the Lake -- and has now issued an Evacuation ALERT for a much larger area surrounding the fire.  

Evacuation alerts are also in place for areas near the 55-hectare Verdun Mountain Fire, north of Ootsa Lake -- and the huge five-thousand-hectare Shovel Lake Fire, northeast of Burns Lake. 

And now an Evacuation Order has been issued for  properties near  the Island Lake Fire, south of Francois Lake.

Complete details and maps can be found here:  http://www.rdbn.bc.ca/ 

Regional District Board Chair Bill Miller says crews have been working hard to keep the fires in check. 

"The guys that are on the ground fighting the fire are doing their absolute best, and yesterday was a pretty busy day for the initial attack crews and they did a pretty awesome job knocking down those little fires before they got to big fires," he said Thursday.

In the Cassiar Zone in the far northwest, the Alkali Lake Fire near Telegraph Creek now covers about 100 hectares.

An Evacuation Order has been put in effect for the area by the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine, although it does not presently cover the community of Telegraph Creek.

For information on that order, visit:  http://rdks.bc.ca/