Firefighters Forced To Retreat From Aggressive Forest Fires

By CKPGToday
August 8, 2018 - 6:04am Updated: August 8, 2018 - 5:54pm

PRINCE GEORGE - The Chutanli Lake fire southwest of Prince George exploded Tuesday, nearly doubling in size to 1,500 hectares. On Wednesday, it grew to 1,800 hectares. Crews and equipment were forced to retreat as the fire jumped the Kluskus Forest Service Road.  Wildfire BC officials say it's being fueled by strong winds and hot, dry conditions.  The Cariboo Regional District has issued an expanded evacuation alert around the blaze.  21 firefighters, 3 helicopters and 5 pieces of heavy equipment are assigned to the blaze.

It is the same story for the Shovel Lake fire northwest of Fraser Lake.  It burst through containment lines and chased away fire personnel while growing from 5,400 hectares to more than 6,800  hectares.  Most of the growth took place in the northeast corner of the fire.  Nearly 140 firefighters and support staff are battling the flames along with 14 helicopters and 51 pieces of heavy equipment.

Meantime the Chief of the Tahltan First Nation says a wildfire has destroyed 27 structures in the Telegraph Creek area.  Chief Rick McLean estimates the fire has ripped through 30 to 45 percent of buildings in the remote community southwest of Dease Lake.

The CNC campus in Burns Lake is acting as an evacuation centre for those forced from their homes by the newly discovered Gilmour Lake fire in the northwest.  BC Wildfire officials say initial-attack crews are mobilizing sprinkler protection units in an effort to prevent the loss of any homes and businesses.  The Gilmour Lake fire is located about 2.5 kilometres south of Gilmore Lake and 8 kilometres southwest of Topley.  It's believed to be about 60 hectares in size.  The Burns Lake evacuation centre is also supporting others residents under evacuation orders from other fires in the region.  

A second evacuation centre has been established in Fraser Lake for those under an evacuation alert from the Island Lake fire.


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