June 12th, 2024

Crews fighting wildfires near Fort Nelson hope skies open up after rainy Thursday

By The Canadian Press on May 17, 2024.

An extreme fire warning sign is shown along Highway 97 toward Fort Nelson outside the Charlie Lake Fire Hall near Fort St. John, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Boily

FORT NELSON, B.C. – A rainy Thursday in and around Fort Nelson was exactly what fire crews were looking for.

In a video released late Thursday night by the B.C. Wildfire Service, fire behaviour specialist for the Parker Lake and Patry Creek blazes Evan Peck said recent rain was much needed and made for excellent conditions for fire suppression crews.

While more rain is forecast in the coming days, Peck says there’s not been nearly enough precipitation yet to overcome long-term drought conditions in northeast British Columbia.

Crews continue to battle the Parker Lake and Patry Creek blazes, both of which are threatening Fort Nelson and are classified as out of control.

To date, the Parker Lake wildfire burning two kilometres west of town has forced thousands to evacuate and is holding steady at 123 square kilometres in size.

The Patry Creek wildfire is much larger, with the latest data from the B.C. Wildfire Service Friday morning indicating that the fire burning 25 kilometres north of Fort Nelson had swelled to 718 square kilometres.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2024.

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