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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(BC Wildfire Service photo)

Just Posted

UPDATED: Slocan River drowning victim’s body recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Valley of the Springs Winery grand opening event a smashing success

Three of four time slots available during the two-day event completely sold out

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read