The Alkali Lake and South Stikine River fire near Telegraph Creek are still showing significant fire activity. The fires are expected to merge into one. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Volatile Telegraph Creek wildfires expected to merge

Fire crews will be flown in to protect threatened village if road is compromised

The two wildfires threatening Telegraph Creek are now expected to merge into one, if they haven’t already, BC Wildfire Service said in a tweet this afternoon.

Alkali Lake blaze now covers 9,000 hectares to the north of the community, while the neighbouring South Stikine River wildfire has expanded significantly in the past 24 hours to 19,000 hectares. For the past couple of days the two volatile fires have been creating their own weather, pulling toward each other.

On-site fire information officer Jody Lucius said it’s not confirmed if the fires have yet merged, but in the event of the highway being compromised ground crews will likely be flown in to resume structural protection of Telegraph Creek.

“The road has been compromised a few times already in the last few days, so we’ll be keeping an eye on that. But if needed, I assume, crews will be flown in and out as they were yesterday.

Additional ground crews and air support arrived last night offering structural protection of the village. In all, 95 firefighters, heavy equipment and 10 helicopters are fighting the blaze with one air tanker on standby.

Twenty-seven structures were impacted yesterday, accounting for about 40 per cent of the village. None have been reported lost since.

READ MORE: 27 structures lost in ‘volatile’ wildfire

In a press teleconference today Doug Donaldson, B.C. minister of forests and Stikine MLA for the Telegraph Creek area, said these fires are a top concern for the province.

He noted the fire season is presenting exceptional challenges over 2017 due to major fires of note currently in every Fire Zone, amounting to 462 active fires with 22 evacuation alerts and 17 evacuation orders in place. The 2,500 people affected by the Telegraph Creek fires is the largest impact in B.C.

READ MORE: No B.C. region left untouched with 462 fires burning

BC Wildfire Service stresses Dease Lake is not under an evacuation order, but an evacuation alert is active to its western boundary.

“We certainly have a good idea of when an order will be put in place,” fire information officer Heather Rice said. “But we are not at that stage yet, and won’t be to the best of my knowledge at all. But it depends on the weather and the winds do over the next couple of days.”

Social media posts indicate some residents have stayed behind to protect their properties, but at this time the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine cannot confirm the numbers.

Emergency Support Services units have been set up in Dease Lake, Terrace and Smithers.

READ MORE: Wildfire evacuees asked to check in with ESS


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

(BC Wildfire Service photo)

Just Posted

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read