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Wildfires spark evacuations in multiple northern B.C. locations

Bulkley-Nechako and Cariboo regional districts eah issued weekend evacuation orders
Tsah Creek wildfire burning near Vanderhoof on July 9, 2023. (BC Wildfire Service handout)

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Regional District of Cariboo have issued evacuation orders this weekend due to wildfires in British Columbia.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako says the danger posed by the Tsah Creek wildfire has prompted an evacuation order for all properties on either side of Highway 27 in the vicinity of Echo Lake and Bearcub FSR.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed a 12 kilometre stretch of the Highway 27 corridor between Blue Mountain Road and Kenner Road on Saturday night as a precautionary measure after the wildfire breached control lines.

The district, along with the Saik’uz First Nation, has also ordered evacuation for all properties to the south of the Bobtail Connector and Kluskus Forest Service Roads in the vicinity of Finger Lake — including those accessed off Lavoie Gold Road, Long Lake Road and 6100 Road — as the Finger Lake wildfire continues to burn out-of-control.

And on Sunday afternoon, the district along with several First Nations issued an evacuation order due to the Parrot Lookout wildfire. The order affected all lands on the north side of Francois Lake accessed off Clairmount Rd between Trout Lake Rd. and the west end of Francois Lake.

Residents of all three areas are being instructed to leave immediately.

The orders follow another one Saturday from Recreation Sites and Trails BC and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Those cover Kager Lake campsite and Trails and the Boer Mountain trail system and were triggered by the nearby Tintagel wildfire.

That fire is also burning out-of-control, covering 2.5 square kilometres.

Late Sunday night, the district, along with Lake Babine Nation, BC Parks, Recreation Sites and Trails BC, issued an evacuation alert for areas near the Pinkut Lake wildfire, based on recommendations from BC Wildfire Service

The alert covers all properties and lands accessed by Babine Lake RD, north of the junction with the North Road FSR. This includes the communities of Donald Landing, Pendleton Bay, and industrial sites in the area. Residents are being told to gather all family members, pets and essential items and be prepared to leave with little to no notice.

In the Cariboo Regional District, emergency alerts were issued due to wildfire risks in the Townsend Creek and Branch Road area, and one of those alerts was upgraded to an evacuation order on Sunday.

The first alert was issued Saturday evening for eight parcels covering about 25 square kilometres due to the Townsend Creek wildfire. On Sunday afternoon, residents of those parcels were ordered to leave.

The blaze was discovered Saturday afternoon and is believed to have been sparked by lightning. It is listed as burning out-of-control and currently covers four square kilometres just east of Margaret Lake.

The Cariboo Regional District also issued an evacuation order Sunday for 10 parcels of land in the Gatcho Lake Area, as well as an evacuation alert for 27 parcels in the Branch Road Area, covering more than 193 square kilometres.

The BC Wildfire Service says the Branch Road wildfire discovered Friday night is burning out-of-control and covers nearly 3.5 square kilometres. The service says a helicopter, three pieces of heavy equipment including a bulldozer, excavator and water tender and other resources are responding.

READ ALSO: Tsah Creek wildfire burns close to Hwy 27, prompting temporary closure

READ ALSO: Most of B.C. under campfire ban as heat, lightning ramp up wildfire risk