Evacuation order, alert issued for Donnie Creek wildfire burning north of Fort St. John

Click to play video: 'Crews work to contain wildfire in northeast British Columbia'
Crews work to contain wildfire in northeast British Columbia
Firefighting crews in British Columbia worked to contain a wildfire near Fort Saint John on Thursday. In this footage released by the British Columbia Wildfire Service, crews can be seen using saws to chop down small trees and then dousing the earth with water, in what the agency called a “direct attack” strategy. “Direct Attack is a method used when fire intensity is low and crews can safely engage with the edge of a fire,” they said – May 19, 2023

An evacuation order has been issued by the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) due to immediate dangers related to an out-of-control wildfire on Sunday morning.

The Donnie Creek evacuation order is in effect for the following areas:

  • The area north of Grewatsch Creek on PDR 222
  • The area north of km 44 on Tommy Lakes Roa.
  • The area north of km 20 on PDR 204 (Beatton Airport Road).
  • Extending north to the border with the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Those within the evacuation order area are asked to leave immediately.

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If you need assistance to evacuate from the area, such as for transportation, mobility, health or other needs, please call the PRRD at 1-800-670-7773.

Evacuees are asked to head to Fort St. John for emergency support services (ESS).

ESS can be called at 1-800-670-7773.

An evacuation alert has also been issued by the PRRD.

Evacuation Alert #5 applies to the following areas:

  • 1 km east of Highway 97 between km 225 and km 273.
  • Extending east 88km from a point 1km East of km 225 on Highway 97, and then extending 56 km north to the boundary of evacuation order #4.
  • Extending north-east from a point 1 km east of km 273 on Highway 97 to the confluence of the Buckinghorse River and Medena Creek, then continuing east along the southern boundary of evacuation order #4.

The Donnie Creek wildfire is an estimated 135,991 hectares as of Saturday evening, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

“It is in oil and gas country and there are various industry camps in proximity to the Donnie Creek wildfire, a couple of which are right on the fire’s edge,” Bryan Zandberg said, a B.C. fire information officer.

“We have five helicopters assigned to the fire and we’ve got 96 ground crew members.”

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It is burning roughly 160 km north of Fort St. John.

“Increasing fire activity and smoke are anticipated Sunday due to the current warming and drying conditions and winds,” BC Wildfire staff wrote in a incident report. The sunny drying trend continues and there is no rain in the forecast. A cold front is set to cross over the Rockies on Sunday, leading to a day of moderate winds and further potential for gusting.”

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