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15 gas plant workers forced to flee Petitot River Wildfire

Fifteen workers at Penn West Petroleum’s Wildboy Gas Plant have been ordered to evacuate due to the expanding Petitot River Wildfire burning 115 kilometres northwest of Fort Nelson.
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Fifteen workers at Penn West Petroleum’s Wildboy Gas Plant have been ordered to evacuate due to the expanding Petitot River Wildfire burning 115 kilometres northwest of Fort Nelson.

On Thursday, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality issued a state of emergency and an evacuation order for an area of land that included the gas plant and a nearby compressor station.

Jillian Kelsh, a communications specialist for the Prince George Fire Centre, said the wildfire is currently over 3,300 hectares in size.

“We do expect to see some growth on it,” said Kelsh. She said very dry conditions and high wind strength could help the fire spread.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the fire was about five kilometers from the plant.

A previous evacuation alert was issued on Monday that did not require people to leave. Kelsh said everyone in the evacuation zone is now required to leave the area.

The Petitot River Wildfire was discovered June 23 and is suspected to have been caused by lightning.                       

reporter@ahnfsj.ca