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Strong winds cause fires to grow in Cassiar Fire Zone

Strong winds in the Cassiar Fire Zone on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, prompted increased fire activity and caused two of the more prominent wildfires within the Northwest Fire Centre to grow.

Southwest Tagish Lake fire (R90881)

* This fire is about 40 kilometres west of Atlin and has spread toward the northeast.

* Despite this growth, the size of the fire is now estimated at 890 hectares, down from a previous estimate of 1,400 hectares. This is due to more accurate mapping of the fire.

* The BC Wildfire Service has already implemented a plan to protect several cabins in the vicinity of this fire. Personnel have installed structural protection units (large-scale sprinklers) on these cabins and a remote camera to continuously monitor fire activity.

* One additional structure to the north of the fire, near Fantail River, has also been outfitted with a structural protection unit.

* Seventeen firefighters, supported by helicopters, are currently working to extinguish the parts of the fire closest to these structures.

* Smoke from the Southwest Tagish Lake fire is visible in the Atlin area.

* As a result of the increased fire activity, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) has expanded an existing evacuation alert and an evacuation order that were issued on Aug. 8, 2019. An evacuation alert is now in place from Buchan Creek north to the Fantail River, west to Fantail Lake and east to Tagish Lake.

* For more information, including a map of the affected area, visit EMBC’s website: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/evacuation-order-and-alert-issued-for-southwest-tagish-lake-august-8-2019/

Barrington River fire (R91233)

* This fire is about 50 kilometres west of Telegraph Creek and covers about 4,600 hectares.

* The recent winds caused the fire to spread mainly toward the southwest.

* The fire is still about 25 kilometres from a fish camp at Tahltan Lake, where structures have been outfitted with structural protection units (large-scale sprinklers).

* Although this wildfire is currently not threatening any structures or communities, smoke from the fire is highly visible in the area.

In addition, a small holdover fire was detected on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 within the perimeter of the 2018 Alkali Lake fire. This fire is north of Highway 51 near the confluence of Beatty Creek and the Tahltan River. It has been assessed by the BC Wildfire Service. It poses no risk to communities or structures at this time and is unlikely to spread. The BC Wildfire Service will continue to monitor this fire. Smoke may be visible in the area.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

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