Evacuation order rescinded for Battleship Mountain wildfire near Hudson’s Hope, B.C.

Smoke rises from the Battleship Mountain wildfire on Sept. 15, 2022. BC Wildfire Service

An evacuation order for B.C.’s largest wildfire of the year has been rescinded.

Burning in rugged terrain in the northeast corner of the province, the Battleship Mountain wildfire is currently sized at 30,242 hectares.

Read more: Evacuation orders expand for Battleship Mountain wildfire near Hudson’s Hope, B.C.

The fire’s eastern edge is around four km from the W.A.C. Bennett dam and eight km from the small community of Hudson’s Hope, which was ordered to evacuate on Sept. 10.

That order, issued by the Peace River Regional District, was terminated on Saturday morning, much to the relief of the municipality of 1,000, who dispersed to nearby communities, including Fort St. John.

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“About 11 o’clock this morning, we got the news that the evacuation order had been rescinded,” said the mayor of Hudson’s Hope, Dave Heiberg. “So people are making plans to re-enter (town).”

Originally, the evacuation order only affected a rural part of Hudson’s Hope, though the community was later added that day.

While in Fort St. John, Heiberg said he talked to many evacuated residents, “and every single one of them was appreciative of what emergency operations and BC Wildfire were doing. And they were very appreciative of what emergency services had done for us in Fort St. John.”

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The mayor added, “we’re just glad to come home, to homes.”

According to BC Wildfire, there have been 1,530 wildfires this year, burning 105,622 hectares. In other words, the Battleship Mountain wildfire accounted for nearly one-third of this year’s total burned hectares.

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The 10-year average is 1,352 fires and 348,917 hectares burned. Further, BC Wildfire said 70 per cent of this year’s wildfires have been under four hectares.

A BCWS spokesperson called that a great statistic, adding that initial attack crews have been extremely successful this year in knocking down fires.

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