Evacuation alert issued for West Quesnel

The Cariboo Regional District and City of Quesnel issued an evacuation alert Friday for residents who live west of the Fraser River.

Stressing that's it an alert and not a mandatory evacuation at this time, the local governments urged residents to prepare to evacuate if necessary. As much advance notice as possible will be given prior to evacuation, residents were told via a Facebook post, but limited notice may be given due to changing conditions.

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A 12-square kilometre blaze southwest of Quesnel is one of several that have forced recent evacuation orders or alerts in the regional district.

The district has also issued an evacuation alert for 396 properties northeast of 100 Mile House near an aggressive two-square kilometre wildfire that the BC Wildfire Service describes as uncontained.

Evacuation orders were also expanded Friday by the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako for three separate wildfires southeast of Terrace around the Shovel, Torkelson and Nadina lakes while crews plan a small-scale burn off of fuel near a blaze close to Keremeos and Cawston.

That burnoff is meant to tie one flank of the 120-square kilometre fire to a natural control line as crews brace for gusty winds, possible lightning and potential rain this weekend as a cold front replaces a stubborn heat wave.

The B.C. Wildfire Service lists 31 fires of note among the nearly 500 wildfires burning across the province.

Dozens of properties around the northwestern B.C. community of Telegraph Creek have been damaged or destroyed, and at B.C.'s request, the Yukon government is to open a reception centre for evacuees today.

A news release from Yukon says all Telegraph Creek residents who are currently in the territory should visit the reception centre as soon as possible to register for emergency social services.

Although Whitehorse is more than 600 kilometres northwest of Dease Lake, where many of the Telegraph Creek evacuees have gathered, it's the nearest large urban centre to the north or east.

There are also many connections between the residents of Whitehorse and Telegraph Creek, prompting a First Nation from the Whitehorse area to send a seven-person firefighting crew to help.


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