Evacuation, alerts for northeastern B.C. wildfires as winds kick up

The Beatton Airport Road wildfire is pictured on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in this contributed photo.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Service

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - Strong winds, high temperatures and no sign of rain could mean another difficult week for crews battling wildfires in northeastern British Columbia.

Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says the Fort St. John area remains the hardest hit region, with 41 of the province's 62 active wildfires.

Environment Canada is calling for temperatures of up to 26 C today while Skrepnek says firefighters are bracing for strong, sustained winds of 40 to 60 km/h over the next few days.

He says those conditions led to significant growth on the Beatton Airport Road and Siphon Creek wildfires over the weekend.

An evacuation order was issued Sunday for 130 homes near the 150-square-kilometre Beatton fire, while the Siphon Creek blaze northeast of Fort St. John is now estimated at 616-square kilometres.

About one-quarter of that fire is on the Alberta side of the provincial boundary.

Environment Canada is calling for rain and temperatures between 7 C and 14 C on Thursday and Friday, but the sun is expected to be back by next weekend.

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