Wildfire danger heating up across the province, high risk present in northeast B.C.

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With crews currently battling a 1,200 hectare wildfire just west of 100 Mile House and temperatures expected to remain hot for the province including Fort St. John, The BC Wildfire Service is warning that there may be more fires to come.

18 hours ago, the Gustafsen wildfire was only 500 hectares but it grew rapidly overnight and sits at 1,200 and continues to grow. The BC Wildfire Service says the blaze is 0% contained and evacuation orders have been given.

The Wildfire Service says they are using the following resources to fight the fire:

  • 120 firefighters
  • 6 helicopters
  • 15 pieces of heavy equipment
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While northeast B.C. will have their own memories of wildfires that swept through the region in 2016, The BC Wildfire Service says that the risk here is also expected to rise according to Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds.

“Where you guys are, it’s high. I think there is going to be some precipitation and thunder shower activity today but precipitation with thunder showers is so hard to predict. The long-term forecast right now is hot and dry. With the weather we have, forest fuels will continue to dry out and the deeper layer fuels will as well. Those take longer to dry out, but those are starting to dry out as well.”

She added that the recently placed Category 2 and Category 3 fire bans in the Prince George Fire Centre are aimed to prevent human caused fires and protect public safety so that they can use resources for the fires that are caused by other causes such as lightening.

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A fire that was reported near Williston Lake near Mackenzie is 80% controlled according to Reynolds. One near Stuart Lake was .5 of a hectare and is currently being worked on by crews.

According to the BC Wildfire Service website, July 2,3,4 and 5 were all rated as a ‘4’ in Fort St. John which means ‘High Danger’. July 6 was a ‘3’ which means ‘Moderate Danger’. Dawson Creek was a ‘5’ yesterday which is ‘Extreme Danger’.

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