Wildfire in B.C.'s Peace region doubles, no rain expected for relief

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HUDSON'S HOPE, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service says a fire in British Columbia's Peace region has grown out of control due to high winds, noting temperatures are expected to increase and no precipitation has been forecast for the area.

Information officer Sarah Hall says the Battleship Mountain fire has doubled in size to 2.4 square kilometres since Friday after being sparked by lightning on Aug. 30, adding conditions have persisted for about five weeks.

Hall says crews are working to protect critical infrastructure, including the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and a wooden bridge, while trees in danger of falling are being assessed.

The District of Hudson's Hope has asked residents who were ordered to evacuate on Saturday to register in person at an arena in Fort St. John, about a one-hour drive away, while those not needing services are being advised to call the reception centre to inform officials that they are safe.

The district says in a release that lodging options may include hotels, campsites or billeting and support including food may be provided at the reception centre.

An information officer at the Peace River Regional District, which issued the evacuation order, says she could not provide an estimate of how many people were forced to leave their homes.

Five wildfires around the province are considered notable, contributing to smoky skies and poor air quality around the Metro Vancouver area.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2022.

The Canadian Press