30 Days Later, North East Fires Still Raging
Prince George, B.C.- It has been a month since the Siphon Creek and Beatton Airport Road fires were first reported, and there is no end in site.
The Siphon Creek blaze containment lost some ground over the last three days and is now estimated to be 25% contained. Growth did occur on the northern and eastern flanks, but southern flanks held within containment lines. If conditions are favorable today, firefighters will conduct burn-off operations to eliminate pockets of fuel.
The Siphon Creek fire is estimated to be 75,400 hectares in size, with 56,200 ha in BC and 19,200 in Alberta.
Residents in the area remain under an evacuation alert.
There are 177 firefighters battling the flames, assisted by 11 helicopters, and 15 pieces of heavy equipment.
As for the Beatton Airport Road fire which is 45 kms north of Fort St. John, it too has grown slightly, but is still considered to be 45% contained.
This fire is estimated to be a little more than 15 thousand hectares in size.
The evacuation order which forced hundreds of residents from their homes on Sunday, remains in effect.
“The smoke from a neighbouring fire ( Halfway River near Hudson’s Hope) was a significant help to us” says Fire Information Officer Paula Mackay. “The smoke clouded over the area, helping to reduce temperatures and increase humidity in the area, so the wind event we were predicting didn’t have the impact we thought it might”.
There are still 129 firefighters battling the blaze, assisted by 10 helicopters and 27 pieces of heavy equipment and a 5 person Incident Management team.