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‘We are extremely concerned’: B.C. officials on wildfire burning near Fort Nelson

Click to play video: 'Wildfire now dangerously close to Fort Nelson'
Wildfire now dangerously close to Fort Nelson
A wildfire that began last Friday in the northeastern corner of the province exploded over the weekend, and is now just mere kilometres away from Fort Nelson. As Aaron McArthur reports, thousands who have fled their homes are now hoping the wind doesn't push the fire towards their town – May 13, 2024

The next 48 hours are going to be very challenging for B.C. wildfire crews as the Parker Lake wildfire is burning just 2.5 kilometres west of Fort Nelson.

“We are extremely concerned,” said Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness, at a press conference on Monday morning.

About 4,700 people are on evacuation order at this time, Ma said, with an evacuation alert upgraded to an evacuation order on Monday morning.

Click to play video: 'Thousands forced from their homes due to wildfire burning near Fort Nelson'
Thousands forced from their homes due to wildfire burning near Fort Nelson

The Parker Lake wildfire is now about 5,280 hectares in size and highways 97 and 77 remain closed north of Fort Nelson.

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Ma said it is “extremely uncommon” to have so many people on evacuation orders this early in the wildfire season.

Late Sunday, Ma urged those who still remained in the area to leave immediately.

“Commercial accommodation in the area is limited, however, we’ve set up an additional accommodation site at Sunset Prairie with 200 rooms,” she said.

“Rooms are available and evacuees who need assistance can go straight to reception centre at Sunset Prairie to receive accommodation. Reception centres are also open at Fort St John, Dawson Creek and Prince George. Province staff are on the ground to help process support for evacuees as quickly as possible.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. crews prepare for intense wildfire approaching Fort Nelson'
B.C. crews prepare for intense wildfire approaching Fort Nelson

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