FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Firefighters with the BC Wildfire Service are beginning their attacks on several wildfires that have quickly grown in size north of Fort St. John this week.
Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says that two Incident Management Teams are due to arrive in Fort St. John in the next couple of days to begin battling wildfires burning near the Beatton and Buckinghorse Rivers. Reynolds said that the largest fire burning in the North Peace is the Kahta Creek Fire, which is located roughly 190 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John.
That fire has grown to 1,700 hectares, and there are currently 40 firefighters with a number of pieces of heavy equipment that have begun making fire guards around the perimeter. An incident management team has also been assigned to that fire. Meanwhile, crews have declared the 6.5 hectare fire just north of the Kahta Creek Fire near the Alaska Highway as being extinguished.
Another incident management team has been assigned to a pair of fires burning in the Nig Creek area. The Beatton River Fire and another nearby fire, which has not been named, have each grown to an estimated 1,500 and 1,000 hectares respectively. Reynolds said the second unnamed fire experienced tremendous growth on Wednesday, fanned by the hot, dry weather. At this time, no firefighters have been deployed to the fire, but Reynolds said that the incident commander is currently drawing up a plan to deal with both fires.
Meanwhile, crews have reassessed the Milligan Hills Fire at 700 hectares in size. That fire is 15 percent contained, with 60 firefighters and five pieces of heavy equipment building a fireguard along the fire’s northeast flank to reduce the chance of it spreading into Alberta.
Of the numerous fires burning near Fort Nelson, Reynolds said that a modified attack plan will likely be used to combat the fire located southeast of the Muskwa River, which has been downgraded from over 4,000 hectares to 2,800 hectares in size. She said that none of the fires near Fort Nelson are threatening property at this time, and that the Wildfire Service will be letting nature take its course with any fires burning in Provincial Parks.