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UPDATE: Evacuation order issued for 17 parcels of land south of Tatla Lake

The Twist Creek wildfire is currently 70 hectares

Two newer wildfires in the West Chilcotin have resulted in an evacuation order and alert for residents in the area on Monday, Sept. 11.

An evacuation order was issued for 17 parcels in the Twist Creek area south of Tatla Lake and an alert was issued for 28 parcels in the Hell Raving Creek Area.

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) issued the order for Twist Creek at noon, Monday, Sept. 11 and replaced the alert which was issued Aug. 31.

The alert for Hell Raving Creek was issued a few hours later on Sept. 11.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Twist Creek wildfire is estimated to be about 500 hectares.

It was discovered on Aug. 27 and with the suspected cause being lightning.

Cariboo Fire Centre information officer Talia McKay said in an emailed response due to the terrain and location being inaccessible and unsafe for personnel, the fire was monitored with helicopters actioning the incident and providing suppression efforts.

On Sept. 10, the fire did have significant growth due to high winds, McKay confirmed.

Due to the terrain and safety of crews, this fire is being monitored with a remote camera, she said, noting currently eight BC Wildfire Service personnel are working to continue establishing structure protection and strengthening sprinkler defence.

Additional resources of a structure protection specialist and structure protection unit for a total of six personnel arrived Tuesday and were on site Wednesday assessing and deploying structure protection.

Cariboo Regional District communications manager Gerald Pinchbeck said the Twist Creek evacuation order covers 17 parcels of land and 2,339 hectares.

He confirmed there is one home there.

The Hell Raving Creek Fire was discovered on Sept. 8 and as of Tuesday, Sept. 12 estimated to be 200 hectares in size.

McKay said on Sept. 10 the fire also saw significant growth due to high winds.

“Currently objectives for this incident are to keep the fire within the Hell Raving Creek drainage,” she said, noting five helicopters have been on site providing suppression efforts on these fires as visibility and conditions allow.

Heavy equipment is working to open old logging roads and establish a plan for potential guard construction depending on the access available.

“Due to the terrain and safety of our crews these fires are not being directly actioned,” McKay noted.

Although some rain was received in the region, McKay said it is important to remember that we entered summer experiencing extreme drought conditions.

“We did experience lower temperatures and higher relative humidity, but we are entering back into warm and dry conditions across the fire centre with high winds as the weekend approaches with more seasonal temperatures over the weekend.”

Within the Hell Raving Creek alert area of 4,780 hectares and 28 parcels there are five dwellings, Pinchbeck confirmed.

In response to the order and alert, the city of Williams Lake activated its emergency support services, Pinchbeck said.

Four other alerts remain in effect due to the Gatcho Lake Complex fire in the northwest of the CRD region Area J.

Pinchbeck said the alerts cover 35 parcels, 51,000 hectares and one home.

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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