|© John Tymofichuk|
May 11, 2015 - BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - Homes are being evacuated in small lakeside communities near Prince George as firefighters battle a wildfire.
The evacuation order covers about 80 people living on Norman Lake, Little Bobtail Lake and Naltesby Lake, while residents to the north and west are under an evacuation alert.
The wildfire is burning 50 km southwest of Prince George and was last estimated to cover 2,500 hectares. As of Sunday night, 26 firefighters were trying to bring it under control with the help of two helicopters, and five pieces of heavy equipment, but more than 100 additional staff have been called in to assist.
Smoke from the fire can be seen from Highway 16 and nearby communities.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Jillian Kelsh of the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch said the evacuations are from a number of permanent and seasonal homes. She added that the fire was about 20 hectares in size when it was first spotted Saturday but quickly spread.
The forecast for the Prince George area this week calls for sunny skies and temperatures as high as 24 degrees through to Sunday. Winds are expected to gust at up to 20 km/h on Monday and Tuesday.
Kelsh said a top priority for firefighters on Monday will be to evaluate how the warm, dry, windy weather will impact the spread of the blaze.
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Up-to-date information on evacuations can be found on the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako's website and website for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.
B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch is currently dealing with two active fires larger than 10 hectares in size. The second blaze is burning 32 km south of Lillooet off the Duffey Lake Road and spans 60 hectares, but it is contained by natural barriers and no structures are at risk. - Vancouver Sun.