Remote B.C. community under wildfire evacuation order

More crews arrive today at Alkali Lake wildfire now moving toward Telegraph Creek

Seven remote households are under an evacuation order as a new wildfire five kilometres west of Telegraph Creek burns out of control.

The Alkali Lake wildfire has grown 45-hectares overnight to 150 hectares today. Seven homes are known to be under the order issued by the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine (RDKS). All persons along Highway 51 from west of Sawmill Lake to Glenora are required to evacuate the area immediacy and report to Emergency Support Services at the Dease Lake Community Hall.

So far no homes have been lost to the fire, nor are there any reported injuries, according to the RDKS.

The fire is travelling northeast toward the 300-person community of Telegraph Creek. Fire crews are now trying to push the spread away from the town by tackling the fire on the southern and eastern flanks.

Telegraph Creek is not under an evacuation order at this time.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire to call in help from other provinces, countries

RDKS declared a state of emergency and evacuation alert within 24 hours of the fire’s discovery Aug. 1 then upgraded the alert to an evacuation order today. Thirty-one additional personnel and two pieces of heavy equipment arrived on scene this morning, adding to three firefighters already on the ground with air assistance from three helicopters and one air tanker.

Alkali Lake Wildfire – video courtesy Neoma Sampson

Yesterday two homes were under structural protection with the wildfire 300 metres away, said BC Wildfire Service.

Additional structural protection units are expected to arrive later today to assess vulnerabilities in Telegraph Creek.

BC Wildfire Service said the lighting-caused blaze is now a Rank 2 wildfire, described as a low, vigorous surface fire with an unorganized flame and inconsistent rate of spread.

It is among six interface fires of note and 78 fires total in the Northwest Fire Centre. The area experienced a week of hot, dry weather reaching the mid-to-upper 30s. Open burning and campfire bans go into effect today throughout the Northwest Fire Centre.

READ MORE: Evacuation Alert issued due to Shovel Lake Wildfire

An unrelated 306-hectare, lighning-caused fire is also burning near Elbow Lake, about 70 kilometres north of Dease Lake. According to BC Wildfire Services the fire is producing heavy smoke and is highly visible from Hwy 37.

Two cabins are receiving structural protection. One helicopter has been assigned to monitor the situation.

More to come.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

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Neoma Sampson photo

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