August 3, 2014 9:30 pm

Smoke from large wildfire near Chelaslie River visible in neighbouring communities

VANCOUVER – The Chelaslie River fire is estimated to be about 65,000 hectares in size and has sparked evacuation orders and alerts.

The fire is about seven kilometres south of the Chelaslie River, including sections of Entiako Provincial Park south of Natalkuz Lake.

People living in the communities of Smithers and Vanderhoof may see heavy smoke in their communities due to this large wildfire and smoky conditions are expected to continue this long weekend.

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On July 19, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued an updated Evacuation Alert and Evacuation Order for areas near to this fire.

BC Parks has issued an Evacuation Order for all cabin owners in Entiako Provincial Park, any users within the park, and any persons found at a facility threatened by wildfire. BC Parks has issued the closure of Entiako Provincial Park to all recreational users.

On July 28, the Cariboo Regional District issued an Evacuation Alert for areas near to this fire.

On Saturday, August 2, an Area Closure Order was issued by the Wildfire Management Branch. This closure applies from the Kluskus Forest Service Road of the Natalkuz 500 road, south and west of the Kluskus Forest Service Road into the Vantine, Malaput and Chedakuz areas. A checkpoint to restrict access is established at 92.5km on the Kluskus Forest Service Road. The Red Road is closed at 77.5km. All traffic must report through the checkpoint and residents that reside in the area, outside the Evacuation Order area, may be granted access to and from their properties.

The fire danger rating in the Northwest Fire Centre is currently “high” to “extreme”, with increasingly hot and dry weather conditions in the forecast. These conditions mean that forest fuels are very dry and the risk of fire is serious but there are currently no campfire bans in effect for the Northwest Fire Centre.

Campfires cannot be larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide. Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available to fully extinguish it. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure that the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area.

To report a wildfire or abandoned campfire, call 1 800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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