Skip to content

UPDATE: Wildfire southwest of Smithers still holding, evacuation order remains in effect

Crews continue to battle the Powers Creek blaze from both the air and the ground

A wildfire burning southwest of Smithers remains under the status of being a Fire of Note and Out of Control, although the size has now been holding steady at around 22 hectares for two days.

Casda Thomas, a fire information officer for the Northwest Fire Centre of the BC Wildfire Service said they are reluctant to change the status to Being held as there is still a chance it could grow beyond predetermined boundaries.

Nevertheless, containment efforts appear to be working.

“It’s definitely a good sign that it hasn’t grown,” Thomas said.

As of this morning (July 10), crews remain on the scene battling the blaze both from the air and the ground.

“Crews are using heavy equipment to establish a fire guard which will allow them to attack the fire directly with water using pumps and hose,” the latest update of the wildfire service website states. “A skimmer group and helicopters are dumping water on the fire to cool it and allow crews to access it directly. For the safety of pilots and the public we ask residents and recreators in the Tyhee Lake area to remain aware of their surroundings and to stay clear of skimmers working out of Tyhee Lake.

While small in area, and apparently holding, it remains a Fire of Note because it poses a threat to public safety due of its proximity to Bulkley Valley communities.

“We were able to heavily resource it,” Thomas said.

An evacuation order remains in effect for the Powers Creek area with residents being directed to a reception centre at the Christian Reformed Church at 4035 Walnut Drive in Smithers established by Emergency Support Services (250-877-7105).

The Powers Creek fire was discovered around 6:15 p.m. on July 7.

One initial attack crew, one unit crew and two helicopters immediately responded. Personnel also applied structure protection to nearby residences.

The suspected cause is lightning.

The Regional District of Bulkley Nechako issued an Evacuation Order for the Powers Creek area for all dwellings and lands west of the Telkwa River, accessed via Tatlow Road, including local roads. People in the area were asked to leave immediately late Friday (July 7) night.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako issued a notice that persons who chose to disregard the Evacuation Order and remain in the Evacuation Order area would be doing so at their own risk.

Also, an Evacuation Alert remains in effect for all dwellings and lands south of Seymour Lake, accessed from Tatlow Road or Hudson Bay Mountain Road, including local roads and the ski colony.

READ MORE: Smoky skies once again over Smithers caused by distant wildfires


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
Read more