An evacuation order has been issued by the Peace River Regional District due to immediate wildfire danger due to the Tommy Lakes fire.
The area starts at the junction of the Beatton Airport Road, Birch Road and Two Creeks Road, following north along the Beatton Airport Road and ending at the bridge on the Beatton River; then southeast along the Beatton River stopping at Two Creeks road near the Beatton River; and SW along the Two Creeks Road returning to the junction of the Beatton Airport Road, Birch Road and Two Creeks Road.
The fire is 16,954 hectares in size and is classed as out of control. The Tommy Lakes fire is the result of the amalgamation of the former Beatton Lake and the Tommy Lakes Road fire, which became one fire May 25.
The BC Wildfire Service has 77 firefighters, seven helicopters, and seven pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
The primary objectives are to establish machine guard and if conditions permit conduct controlled burning operations, in order to protect oil and gas infrastructure and other values in the vicinity. Two unit crews are working on the east side of the South Nig Road connector continuing west of the Nig connector to Tommy Lakes junction. Additional crews are working along with heavy equipment to build guard to establish access to Beatton River off the Tommys Lake Road. They will also be preparing for controlled burning (burn off) operations if weather permits.
A reception centre for evacuees has been set up at the Pomeroy Sports Centre located at 9324 96 Street, Fort St. John.
Effective immediately an area restriction order is in effect for Crown land in the vicinity of the Tommy Lakes wildfire, located approximately 29 kilometres northeast of mile 109-Highway 97 (Alaska Highway).
This area restriction has been put in place to address public-safety concerns arising from the wildfire’s rate of spread, and to avoid interference with fire control. The restriction will remain in place until noon (Pacific time) on July 31, 2018, or until the order is rescinded.
Under this order and Section 11(2) of the Wildfire Act, a person must not remain in or enter the Tommy Lakes wildfire restricted area without prior written authorization of an official, designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act, unless the person enters the area under the following circumstances only:
- travelling to or from his or her principal residence that is not under an evacuation order;
- using a highway as defined in the Transportation Act;
- travelling to or from an industrial activity or business location;
- travelling through or entering the area as a person acting in an official capacity; or
- through or entering the area for an approved purposes of supporting wildfire suppression activities.
This order applies to Crown land within the geographic boundaries described below and as outlined in heavy black/grey border as outlined with black cross-hatching on the map available online: http://ow.ly/gzCX30kcKqZ
North Boundary: Coordinates 57◦ 20.85’N x -121◦53.95’W (located north of the Tommy Lakes Road bridge, crossing Holman Creek) bearing east 47 kilometres to coordinates 57◦20.85’N x -121◦ 07.10’ W (located near Pickell Creek).
East Boundary: Coordinates 57◦ 20.85’N x -121◦ 07.10’W (located near Pickell Creek) bearing south 26.8 kilometres to coordinates 57◦ 06.40’N x -121◦07.10’W (located at Beatton River near the end of Two Creeks Road).
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
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