FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service will be bringing in more crews today to respond to a number of fires that flared up north of Fort St. John on Tuesday.
Amanda Reynolds, Fire Information Officer with the Prince George Fire Centre, says that hot and windy conditions on Tuesday helped to fan the flames of several spot fires sparked by lightning over the weekend. Reynolds explained that two fires in particular have ballooned in size since Tuesday, when their smoke plumes were first noticed by fire crews from the air.
The Kahta Creek fire is burning approximately five kilometres south of another 6.5 hectare fire next to the Alaska Highway north of Buckinghorse River. While firefighters have completely surrounded the smaller fire with hoses, the Kahta Creek fire is currently uncontained, and has burned over 1,000 hectares. Reynolds said that the fire is currently burning in an easterly direction away from the Alaska Highway and not threatening any properties.
The Milligan Hills fire, which is around 10 kilometres west of Milligan Hills Provincial Park, has also grown to over 1,000 hectares, though it is also not currently threatening structures at this time. Reynolds said that the Wildfire Service has made a request for two Incident Management Teams to be brought in to Fort St. John to deal with those two fires, which are the largest fires during near Fort St. John.
Crews are also planning to begin attack operations on the Beatton River fire, which is located northwest of Prespatou near Nig Creek and has grown to around 500 hectares in size. Reynolds said that the fire has grown quickly because of windy conditions and the large amount of fuel in the area.
Reynolds added that while several fires have grown quickly in size in the past few days, the current situation is much less dire than two years ago, since none of the fires are currently threatening any property. She said that crews are prepared for an anticipated spike in fire activity over the next month, as forecasters are calling for the usual pattern of increased thunderstorm activity heading into June.
The Peace River Regional District also announced on its website this morning that it is currently monitoring the situation. It says that no evacuation alerts and no evacuation orders have been issued at this time, but that updates will be posted on the PRRD’s website and Facebook page.