State of emergency declared, evacuations ordered amid central B.C. wildfire

State of emergency declared, evacuations ordered amid central B.C. wildfire”

Austin said the forecasters that stay behind can also help firefighters as well as county and state officials by producing spot forecasts for fire-impacted areas.

Fraser Lake Mayor Sarrah Storey was driving back from a soccer tournament out of town when she saw the skyline transformed by a wildfire creeping up a mountain on the edge of her central British Columbia community. "[Saturday], when the incredible growth happened, the winds were just really hard so that has been a good thing that overnight, with the 20 workers that were on the site, that they were able to work with that".

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued evacuation orders and alerts for residents in parts of Lejac near Highway 16.

"At this time the fire is suspected to be human-caused", said B.C. Wildfire Service spokeswoman Molly Blower.

As of Sunday afternoon, Mike Pritchard with the Prince George Fire Centre said fire crews had managed to create guards, or fuel breaks, using machinery around 70 per cent of the fire, and were anticipating the fire would be fully surrounded by Sunday evening.

Forty firefighters, two helicopters and several pieces of heavy equipment are now deployed to fight the blaze.

Since then, the Lejac wildfire, burning approximately five-kilometres east of the Fraser Lake community, has grown to 260-hectares in size.

"We've gone since nearly Christmas - very early in January - since we've had significant snowfall". "Until we get some moisture to change it around, which I hope is coming".

Some good news tonight (May 12) for residents living near Fraser Lake.

"Well certainly the fire came up quite quickly".

Crews are still working at the fire, which is believed to be human-caused, with 30 firefighters, three helicopters, and 15 pieces of heavy equipment live on the scene.

Earlier in the day, Gerry Thiessen, chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, said he was "encouraged" by the status of the fire.

Having grown up in the area, Thiessen said wildfires are not uncommon in July and August, but it's rare to have such a large blaze so early in the season.

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