FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Tommy Lakes Forest Fire which is now over 11,000 hectares has caused an area north of Prespatou to be evacuated.
The evacuation order has been issued by the Peace River Regional District due to immediate wildfire danger. The evacuation order is for a section of Electoral Area B pictured below.
The area starts at the junction of the Beatton Airport Road, Birch Road and Two Creeks Road, following north along the Beatton Airport Road and ending at the bridge on the Beatton River; then SE along the Beatton River stopping at Two Creeks road near the Beatton River; and SW along the Two Creeks Road returning to the junction of the Beatton Airport Road, Birch Road and Two Creeks Road.
A reception centre for evacuees has been set up at the Pomeroy Sports Centre located at 9324 96 Street, Fort St. John.
An update will be provided tomorrow (Sunday May 27) at 12:00pm.
According to Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds the Tommy Lakes fire, which is the new name of the former Tommy Lakes Road and Beatton River fire, now covers an estimated 11,405 hectares. The fire is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Wonowon and is said to be burning in a northeasterly direction.
Reynolds said that the high winds on Friday caused an increase in fire activity, with the two fires merging in the afternoon. She said that a total of 58 firefighters, 5 helicopters, and 4 pieces of heavy equipment are focused on building a fire guard along the fire’s southern perimeter in order to protect oil and gas industry sites, two of which are said to be located a short distance from the fire.
Two unit crews are working on the east side of the South Nig Road connector and north of the North Nig Road to contain growth in these areas. A third unit crew is working along with heavy equipment to build guard to establish access to Beatton River off the Tommy Lakes Road. Bucketing helicopters are said to be working with crews to aid in the fire suppression efforts.