A district in northeastern British Columbia lifted an evacuation order that was in place due to the wildfire near Battleship Mountain, as rain helped firefighters on Saturday night.
Orders were placed as the fire started showing aggressive behavior last week. It delayed the start of the school year for hundreds of children in the Peace region of British Columbia and also raised concerns about nearby dams.
But up to 30 millimeters of rain fell on parts of the blaze on Saturday, slowing growth and helping firefighters, according to fire information officer Forrest Tower.
“It looks pretty promising for next week,” he told CBC News. “The rain gave us the opportunity to work much closer to real fire than when the conditions are obviously more aggressive.”
The tower warns that the fire is still burning and is likely to do so through winter. It is currently burning over an area of 302 square kilometers, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Evacuation alerts remain in place for the southwestern portions of Hudson’s Hope, a town about 520 kilometers north of Prince George with a population of just over 1,000.
WATCH | Evacuees tried to stay strong despite evacuation orders:
The fire was burning eight kilometers from Hudson’s Hope and four kilometers west of the large WAC Bennett dam, which generates electricity for much of British Columbia.
“He came within a few miles of the … dam,” Tower said. “But since a bit of a downturn in the weather – in particular, we’ve had much weaker winds… we’ve been able to stop it moving anywhere east.”
Tower said that despite a slight drop in staff due to the departure of some firefighters to university, the department has the appropriate resources to fight the fires in northeastern British Columbia.
“Over the past week there has been a lot of rain in the southern half of the province,” he said. “We were able to move a number of our crews who were working on the fires there to the Peace Zone to help with the fires here.”
Tower says people should continue to heed local evacuation orders and alerts, and also obey road closures and area restrictions in place due to the fire.
He also said there is still a risk of falling trees due to unstable conditions and people should drive carefully in the area.
The only other “notable fire” in the province – one that is particularly visible or poses a danger to the public – is the Bearhole Lake Fire southeast of Tumbler Ridge, also in northeastern Columbia. British.
However, the status of this fire will be downgraded as of 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the fire departmentas cooler temperatures have significantly reduced fire activity.
Evacuation alerts mean residents must be ready to leave their homes at any time. An evacuation order means that a resident must leave immediately.