More evacuation orders and alerts are in effect for an area of north-central British Columbia that is nearly surrounded by forest fires.
The 35 kilometre stretch of land under evacuation order is west of the community of Fort St. James, in a mostly rural area, while an expanded evacuation alert includes several properties near the district municipality’s western edge.
Bill Miller, board chair for the Bulkley-Nechako region, says they’ve been lucky with the most recent expansion of the evacuation area — no properties or families in the area have been forced out in a zone that is predominantly camping and recreational sites.
However, he says if the fires continue to burn eastwards they’ll begin to affect residents in Fort St. James and they need to be prepared to leave immediately if the alert is upgraded to an order.
He says it’s been a difficult week and it’s unlikely to get better next week, with no rain in the forecast for another ten days.
When he left work in Burns Lake on Saturday afternoon, Miller says the smoke from the fires had darkened the skies so much it seemed as if the sun had already set.