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Battleship, Bearhole fires, no growth

Cooler weather welcome, forecasted winds expected to fan flames
Battleship Mountain wildfire (BC Wildfire Service)

The Battleship Mountain wildfire west of Hudson’s Hope continues to burn out of control, but as 9 a.m. this morning hadn’t grown according to the latest update from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

It’s estimated to have charred 13,224 hectares or just over 132 square kilometres of forest.

Discovered Aug. 30, the lightning-suspected blaze is about 50 kilometres away from the Hudson’s Hope townsite, its progress slowed since the weekend by a slight easing in winds and cooler temperatures.

“Operations staff are developing an ignition plan for the southwest corner of the fire to build containment in that area as conditions allow. The initial portion of the ignition operation could be up to 3,500 hectares in size and is critical to secure the south flank of the fire if a potential shift in winds occur later this week,” said the latest update.

“Structure protection personnel are working diligently and are developing a response plan for the WAC Bennett Dam and continue maintenance of established structure protection apparatus in the Carbon Lake area. Helicopters are continuing bucketing operations along the south and west of Battleship Mountain.”

The Bearhole Lake wildfire, burning near a section of Highway 52E, to the east of Tumbler Ridge, remains out of control.

As of 9 p.m. last night, it was estimated at just over 6,000 hectares in size.

While crews had hoped to gain the upper hand Wednesday, strong winds prevented them from setting up fire guards.

20 kilometre-an-hour winds with gusts of up to 40 km/h are forecast for today.

“Structural protection assessment is ongoing in the community of Kelly Lake. In addition, a structural defense plan is being implemented with structure protection crews and fire apparatus,” said the Wildfire Service.

The PRRD has rescinded its evacuation order for Kelly Lake and issued the following statement Thursday morning:

The Evacuation Order #1 for the Bearhole Lake wildfire (G72178) is now rescinded. As a result of recommendations from the BC Wildfire Service, the Evacuation Order for the Community of Kelly Lake, 4km West of the Alberta border, and 5km North of Kelly Lake until 5km South of Kelly Lake has been rescinded.

An Evacuation Alert is still in effect for the area, as described in Evacuation Alert #2 issued by the PRRD. An Evacuation Order may need to be reissued; however, if that is deemed necessary, the Evacuation Order process will re-commence.

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