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UPDATE: Hudson’s Hope evacuation order lifted

Drive BC reports Highway 29 has been fully re-opened to traffic; expect delays

Update, 12:00 p.m.:

The Peace River Regional District has rescinded an earlier evacuation order it issued on Sept. 8.

In a release late Saturday morning, the PRRD stated that residents will be allowed to return to the community, but are being asked re-enter safely and provide space to all emergency and first responders in the area.

It's also warning to expect increased traffic as a result.

Drive BC is now reporting that Highway 29 has been fully re-opened from earlier closures due to the fire.

Below is a list of the areas where the order was lifted.

  • Following the eastern boundary of Butler Ridge Provincial Park from the District of Hudson’s Hope Boundary to the Northern tip, proceeding east until a point intersection Farrell Creek;
  • South following Farrell Creek to a point where the Farrell Creek meets the Peace River, due West following the Peace River to the District of Hudson’s Hope boundary;
  • East of Johnson Creek forestry service road at 40km, North following Dowling Creek to the District of Hudson’s Hope boundary;
  • South along the Hudson’s Hope boundary to a point where it intersects Coalbed Creek, and Southwest to a point of intersection with Pete Lake, continuing Southwest to a point of intersection with Moberly Lake forestry service road;
  • West following Moberly River to a point including Stubley Creek heading in a north-westerly direction to the boundary of Klin-Se-Za Addition Provincial Park;
  • North along the easterly boundary of the Klin-Se-Za Addition Provincial Park, to a point intersecting Dowling Creek and north following Dowling Creek to the Johnson FSR to 40km.
  • All of Twelve Mile Rd. from the District of Hudson’s Hope Boundary West, including Josef Rd., Dunlevy Rd., Eagle Heights Dr. and Aspen Ridge Dr.;
  • Including all areas South and East of Butler Ridge Park Boundary
  • North shore of Williston Lake
  • Table Creek south to Dowling Creek (8km west of the WAC Bennett Dam, 40km Johnson FSR)
  • Southwest following Dowling Creek to the intersection of McAllister Creek
  • West to approximately 10km West of Peck Creek
  • North to Williston Lake

Residents are being asked to contact the Emergency Support Services reception centre at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John if they plan to return home.

A special number, 250-783-9308, has also been set up by the district for those who need help with transportation.

Update, 11:10 a.m.:

The evacuation order for Hudson's Hope has been rescinded.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes starting at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

"Structural Defense staff are still in our community," reads a statement issued by the district. "Please drive with care and give them space."

Residents were ordered to leave their homes last Saturday night due to rapid spread of the Battleship Mountain fire.

A new evacuation alert has been issued for the southwest corner of the district nearest the fire.

Click here for more.

Original story:

Good news this morning from the fire fight at Battleship Mountain.

BC Wildfire Service reports most areas of the wildfire received significant amounts of rain since Friday.

"Decreased temperatures, higher humidities, and the rainfall have all reduced fire activity," said fire information officer Taylor Colman Saturday morning.

"In the last 24 hours, we've received between 10 and 25 millimetres of rain throughout sections of the fire. We've also had reports of 28mm and it continues to rain."

An added bonus in all of this, firefighters from the Bearhole Lake wildfire will now be able to help with the Battleship Mountain blaze. 

"They received a lot more rain than we did. Their crews have shuffled over to our fire because they received so much rain."

Three more unit crews will be added onto the northern flank near Williston Lake, closer to the dam, said Colman.

"Still a lot of work to be done, but we're grateful for the extra support."

In all, 105 firefighters are now working on the Battleship Mountain blaze.

The latest forecast has rain expected to continue until noon, with another five to 10 mm forecast. 

That will be accompanied by cool daytime temps from 8 to 10 degrees, and northwest winds gusting up to 40 kilometres. 

“Though the precipitation helps cool fire activity, the fire continues to smoulder in heavier fuels. Surface fires displaying rank one fire behaviour are expected today.”

Here is today’s operational update from BCWS on Batteshhip Mountain.

• Decreased temperatures, higher humidity and rainfall have reduced fire activity on the Battleship Mountain wildfire. 
• In the last 24 hours, between 10 and 20 mm of rain has been received on various sections of the fire. 
• Precipitation continues to be received and is expected to last into this afternoon. 
• The unit crew working on the west flank is nearly finished securing the guard on the fire's western heel. 
• Three unit crews continue working on fuel free and patrol operations on the southwest flank. 
• The contingency line on the south flank should be completed by end of day today. 
• The contingency line on the west side of Wright Lake is complete. 
• On the northeast flank, three unit crews have begun assessing and removing patchy fuels, and mopping up and extinguishing hot spots. 
• Due to low lying cloud, there was no visibility for helicopters to support operations Friday.

• With the downturn in weather, structure protection equipment has begun to be demobilized. 

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