Telegraph Creek Evacuated As Wildfires Spread

John Crawford

Several northwest fires, sparked by lightning last week, continue to grow, prompting expanded evacuation orders and alerts.

In the Far northwest, the Stikine Complex of nine wildfires burning in the Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake areas showed aggressive behaviour, and Tahltan Band CEO Richard McLean posted a video on social media Sunday, saying it was time for people in Telegraph Creek to leave. 

"It's time to leave so pack your stuff and your belongings and your essentials and report at the office here and we've moved the centre to the band office and please you're going to have to report to the ESS Centre at the Community Hall in Dease Lake.

"It is a very precautionary step, a proactive step we're taking here again, just so that we can try to manage this emergency as quickly and calmly as possible;  and with the evac order comes more resources from the province, which helps us as well," he said.

As well, Highway 51 has been closed to all non-emergency traffic.

The Alkali Lake fire is now estimated at 78-hundred hectares.

Many areas of the fire were unsafe for ground crews and heavy equipment operators to access yesterday, which limited progress on the fire.

Airtankers and helicopters focussed their efforts on dropping water and retardant on the south flank of this fire, near the community of Telegraph Creek.

[PHOTO:  BC Wildfire Service]

The South Stikine River fire is now approximately six thousand hectares and is also burning aggressively with visible surface flame and crowning trees.

The fire crossed the Stikine River yesterday. 

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