The Narscoli Creek Fire Aug. 9, as seen from the 1400A Road, which is accessed via Marsh Road west of Quesnel. Danica Marie Freel photo

UPDATED: A comprehensive look at evacuation orders, alerts and fires in the Quesnel Fire Zone, Aug. 11

Approximately 5,986 properties are currently on evacuation alert in the Quesnel Fire Zone

UPDATE:

As of 6:24 p.m. on Aug. 11, an evacuation order was issued for the south west Narcosli Creek Area. The order affects 33 properties, and residents are being advised to follow evacuation routes to the Prince George Emergency Social Services Reception Centre.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Approximately 5,986 properties are currently on evacuation alert in the Quesnel Fire Zone, while another 901 properties near the north western Cariboo Regional District boundary are on an evacuation order.

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) put out an evacuation alert for 901 properties from the northwestern boundary of the CRD to just west of Nazko this morning (Aug. 11) at around 9 a.m. The order expands on an Aug. 8 order to 93 properties in the area.

Emily Epp, the communications manager for the CRD, says the alert was sent out due the aggressive behaviour of several fires in the area, including the Shag Creek fire and the fires at Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

READ MORE: Tsacha Lake evacuation order expanded to include 901 properties

The CRD also put out an evacuation alert for the area west of Highway 97 to the Michelle Bazaeko Forest Service Road (FSR) area near Quesnel around 11 a.m. this morning. The communities of Nazko, Baker Creek, Blackwater, Ten Mile Lake, Cinema, Moose Heights and Strathnaver are all effected by this alert, but only areas on the west side of Highway 97. Approximately 2,077 properties and 2,000 people are effected by the alert.

Epp says the alert is due to a number of fires in the area, but primarily the fire east of the Blackwater river and 72 kilometres west of Quesnel. “I think there’s a forecast for some thunderstorms to come through with some wind today, so there’s concern that there could be some increased fire activity on those fires,” Epp says.

READ MORE: Evacuation alert issued west of Highway 97 to Michelle Bazaeko Forest Service Road area

The alert west of Highway 97 follows an evacuation alert released yesterday by the City of Quesnel and the CRD for the north Narcosli Creek area to West Quesnel, with all city properties west of the Fraser River on evacuation alert. The city released a press release this afternoon confirming the alert remains in effect. This alert effects 2,137 properties in the CRD and 1,772 civic addresses in the City of Quesnel.

The alert was issued due to the Narcosli Creek fire burning 31 kilometres southwest of Quesnel.

READ MORE: Evacuation alert issued from Narcosli Creek north to West Quesnel

City of Quesnel Mayor, Bob Simpson, says the alert remains in effect because overnight Thursday Aug. 9 into Friday Aug. 10, the Narcosli Creek fire “took a run at the city. And all of the fuel and all of the potential for it to run that way again still exists.

“So, we’ve had good news over night. There are substantially more crews involved, more heavy equipment, more helicopters and the weather is in our favour. But it will take 24 to 48 hours of those conditions to get some containment on that fire.”

Simpson also spoke with Doug Donaldson, the B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, last night. Simpson says the province’s firefighting resources are taxed, with nearly 500 fires burning across the province and serious fires in every jurisdiction.

“What I wanted to do was chat with the minister about the fact we had a fire that changed behaviour from a non-concern to a very serious and imminent concern, and make sure that any briefing he was involved with, he knew directly that that fire had become a potential high-risk interface fire … we certainly saw significant resources being put to the fire subsequent to that conversation.”

Fires impacting evacuation alerts and orders in the Quesnel Fire Zone

The Narcosli Creek fire remains at an estimated 3,100 hectares. Robyn Clark, a Fire Information Officer (FIO) for the Cariboo Fire Centre, says that the fire experienced minimal growth overnight, but because they were “smoked out” the fire crews have not been able to confirm the exact size of the fire.

“We have increased up to 75 firefighters there, four helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment,” says Clark. The number of firefighters was increased from 30 firefighters on site yesterday. Crews worked overnight with heavy equipment to build guards. Today they are working to build a guard around the western flank of the fire, toward the northern flank. The fire remains zero per cent contained.

East of the Blackwater River and approximately 72 kilometres west of Quesnel, the Blackwater River fire remains approximately 2,000 hectares in size. Heavy equipment was used throughout the night, and ground crews are currently working to establish a guard around the southern flank. There are currently 16 firefighters, one helicopter and six heavy equipment on site. It is also zero per cent contained.

The Shag Creek wildfire to the west of the Quesnel Fire Zone, north of the Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park, is currently estimated at 7,000 hectares, though Clark says it’s too smokey to know the exact size. There are no crews currently working on the fire as it remains too aggressive for crews to work safely. Clark says BC Wildfire Service personnel are continuing to monitor the fire.

Two fires approximately 30 kilometres west of the Blackwater River fire have also merged together. The China Bluff fire and the North Baezaeko fires merged yesterday to form one fire of an estimated 300 hectares. Clark says this fire was also covered by the extended evacuation order and alert this morning.

Environment Canada forecast

According to Environment Canada, there is a risk of thunderstorms tonight, with wind gusts of up to 50 km an hour. The wind is forecast to remain until approximately 8 a.m. Sunday, with a chance of showers overnight and Sunday morning.

Sunday is forecast to have a high of 23 degrees.



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Prince George RCMP hope for tips in missing teen case

A PG teen has been missing since May 2018

Student life highlighted in Grade 11-12 CSS production

Stage set for Correlieu performances Dec. 17-18, with proceeds to food bank

Quesnel church raises almost $9,500 for refugee family

The family arrives in Kelowna on Dec. 13

St Ann’s students spread cheer

Kindergarten and Grade 1 students decorated cards for seniors and collected socks for Seasons House

One man in hospital after crash on Two Mile Flat

The driver went down a steep bank along Highway 97

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read