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Wildfire prompts evacuations

Update August 15

The China Nose wildfire has almost doubled in size to 29-square kilometres, and is completely uncontained.

According to the Wildfire Management Branch, hot and dry weather mixed with gusty winds have resulted in extreme fire behavior.

A structural protection unit has been assigned to the fire, and their primary objective is identifying and protecting any infrastructure in the area. Helicopters have been bucketing areas where they can be effective, and two heavy helicopters have arrived to support fire suppression efforts.

Air tankers are being used when possible, although smoky conditions and poor visibility are hindering their efforts. Air tankers were able to successfully complete an action on the north area of the fire last night.

There are currently 65 firefighters and 7 helicopters fighting the blaze.


Original story August 13

British Columbians living near the northwestern community of Houston have been ordered to evacuate due to a raging wildfire.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has declared a local state of emergency, and residents living in 19 rural properties that are being threatened by the China Nose wildfire have been ordered to flee.

The Wildfire Management Branch says the 16.4-square kilometre blaze, burning 15 kilometres southeast of Houston, was sparked by lightning, and extremely dry weather conditions are making things worse.

Evacuees are told to register for emergency social services at the Burns Lake Heritage Centre.

The China Nose fire is among several that broke out Monday, including one west of Bull Canyon near Alexis Creek in the Cariboo region, that has forced sporadic closures of Highway 20, the only road leading to the central coast community of Bella Coola.

Regional District Chair Bill Miller says the wildfire has also prompted an evacuation alert for roughly 60 homes along Highway 16.

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