The Lejac fire is 70 per cent contained and the evacuation alert has been rescinded in its entirety. (BC Wildfire photo)

Tuesday Update: Evacuation alert lifted for the Lejac fire

Higher relative humidity and precipitation were factors in lifting the evacuation alert, says fire information officer

Update at 5:30 pm

The evacuation alert for the Lejac fire has been rescinded in its entirety by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako on May 14 at 4:15pm.

People who were evacuated can now make their way home, said Gerry Thiessen, chair of the board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN).

Molly Blower, information officer at the Prince George Fire Centre said the crew is making good progress working towards containment.

“It’s the firefighters efforts, and the factors of higher RH and a little bit of precipation and lower temperatures that allowed them to take off the alert,” she said.

The fire is still 70 percent contained, Blower said, noting she hadn’t received an update since 3:30 pm. The size of the wildfire is 236 hectares.

Update at 1 pm

As of Tuesday morning, the Lejac fire is 70 percent contained and 70 percent guarded.

The size of the wildfire is 236 hectares and there were 56 firefighters on site with 10 pieces of equipment and two helicopters, stated the BC Wildfire Service website.

Molly Blower, information officer at the Prince George Fire Centre said the ongoing rain on Tuesday in Lejac and surrounding areas is helping firefighters.

“The increase in precipitation, increase in RH (Relative Humidity) as well as lower temperatures are assisting for sure,” she said.

More to come

READ MORE: Evacuation order for Fraser Lake fire lifted

About the Lejac wildfire

The fire started 5 kilometres east of Fraser Lake in Lejac and is suspected to be man-made, according the BC Wildfire Service website.

Molly Blower, information officer at the Prince George Fire Centre said the first phone report for the fire came in at 3 p.m. on May 11. And by 8 p.m. on May 12, the fire was categorized as being held.

The BC Wildfire Service website states that 30 per cent of the wildfire on Monday is guarded by natural fuel break.

Gerry Thiessen, chair of the board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) said people need to be careful with campfires over the long weekend for Victoria Day.

“We live here so we can enjoy the back country and go camping and stuff like that. But it is really important that this long weekend people are very careful and are making sure their fires are out and all that is taken care of. If we get wind like we did on Saturday, it could be bad again,” Thiessen said.

“The bush is so dry. With the drought we have had and the lack of snow, we really need to be careful,” he added.

The size of the wildfire grew very quickly from 100 hectares (ha) towards the end of Saturday, to 260 ha by Sunday and an evacuation order was in effect. However, Blower said firefighters made significant progress on Sunday and the size of the fire had been reduced from 260 hectares to 236 hectares.

The state of emergency and evacuation order has been lifted as of Sunday, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) said at night on May 12.

The evacuation alert remains in effect, and covers the area south of Highway 16 to south of Roys Lake, and west and east of Seaspunkut 4 (Lejac).

Thiessen said the evacuation alert will remain in effect for a few more days, until there is some rain.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, a fire is classified as ‘being held’ when sufficient suppression action has been taken that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or predetermined boundaries under the prevailing and forecasted weather conditions.

Blower said, “BC Wildfire Service has recommended to make changes to the current evacuation orders and alerts. It is under the discretion of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and I would keep checking their website for up to date information on those changes.”

Vanderhoof residents do not need to worried about the fire, Thiessen said, noting that if things continue to go well for the firefighters then the alerts could be withdrawn over the next couple days.

Environment Canada has forecasted a 60 percent chance of showers for Tuesday, May 14 and Thiessen said he hopes the moisture will take care of the concern of another fire breaking out.

In the evacuation area near Fraser Lake, there were 40 homes that had alerts delivered to them, Thiessen said, adding that the area in Lejac that was given an evacuation order is a significant size of land. However, there were a number of homes that did not have residents currently living there.

For people in need of emergency services, Thiessen said, there are emergency social services groups in Fort St. James, Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake and Prince George.


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

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