Wildfire spurs evacuation order

Red Deer fire near Tumbler Ridge. (Wildfire Management Branch photo)

Red Deer Creek fire near Tumbler Ridge. (Wildfire Management Branch photo)

UPDATE — As of 9.08 p.m. Tuesday, the Prince George Fire Centre reported the lightning-caused Red Deer Creek fire had grown to 1,700 hectares.

NEWS — Kamloops got a reminder of the need for watchfulness today while the Peace River district is getting an unwelcome taste of what to expect as the 2015 wildlife season rolls in.

Due to high winds and hot and dry weather conditions, the Red Deer Creek wildfire 61 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge is expected to see significant growth over the next 24 hours.

As of 5 p.m. today (Tuesday) the lightning-caused wildfire was estimated at 650 hectares and displaying aggressive behaviour, said the Prince George Fire Centre. An evacuation order is in effect for two oil and gas work camps in the area.

The Peace River Regional District issued a state of local emergency and an evacuation order affecting 200 people at 2 p.m. today.

More than 70 Wildfire Management Branch personnel are working on the fire, including three unit crews and an incident management team. Helicopters and airtankers are assisting ground crews. An incident management team includes specialized personnel who manage complex and hazardous fires.

Seventy firefighters, five helicopters and four air tankers were deployed to the fire.

Meanwhile, fire crews were called to a fire north of Westsyde today after a bird flew into a power line, starting a grass fire. A power outage at the Noble Creek water intake pump house interrupted water service.

The Kamloops Fire Centre has dealt with 117 fires this year. Five firefighting aircraft and personnel were sent from B.C. to the Northwest Territories earlier this week to help fight some of the 130 fires burning there. Smoke from the fires stretched hundreds of kilometres south as far as Edmonton.

Weather in Kamloops is forecast to remain sunny and hot for the next several days. Environment Canada says temperatures will hit a smoking hot 37C by Sunday.

About Mel Rothenburger (8243 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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