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State of emergency over fires

UPDATE: 10:10 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared in northern British Columbia, where a number of wildfires have burned buildings, forced residents from their homes and closed roads.

A notice posted on The Peace River Regional District says a large area, including Fort St. John and the District of Taylor, has been placed under a state of emergency because there is danger to people and property in the area.

Const. Josh Swanback of the Fort St. John RCMP said a number of homes in the area have been evacuated because of three large fires.

One fire is burning near Baldonell, one near Charlie Lake on Highway 29, and one further north of Fort St. John on the Alaska Highway, he said.

Swanback could not say how many people in total had been evacuated, but added that there are a number of other fires that are also burning that have not yet forced any evacuations.

A post on the City of Fort St. John Facebook page says three structures have been lost to the fires.

DriveBC reports Highway 29 has been closed in both directions from Bear Flats to Halfway River Bridge because of a blaze.

Fire fighters are prioritizing the fires and more crews are on the way to help, said Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds.

Warm, windy weather has fanned the flames, causing the wildfires to spread, Swanback said.


ORIGINAL

A number of wildfires in northern British Columbia have closed roads and forced residents from their homes.

Fort St. John RCMP Const. Josh Swanback says police have evacuated homes near three different fires, including one near Baldonell, one near Charlie Lake on Highway 29 and one further north on the Alaska Highway.

Swanback could not say how many people in total had been evacuated, but says there are a number of other fires that are also burning that have not yet forced any evacuations.

DriveBC reports Highway 29 has been closed in both directions from Bear Flats to Halfway River Bridge because of a fire.

Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds says firefighters are prioritizing the fires and more crews are on the way to help battle the blazes.

Swanback says warm, windy weather is fanning the flames and causing the wildfires to spread.

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