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UPDATE: Wildfire between Williams Lake, Quesnel grows to 1,600 hectares

An evacuation alert was issued Sunday night for six parcels
The BC Wildfire Service is responding to multiple wildfires within the Cariboo Fire Centre Saturday, April 20. The largest fire is the Burgess Creek Wildfire (C20117), located 45 kilometres south of Quesnel and is approximately 1,600 hectares in size. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

The 2024 fire season got off to an explosive start in the Cariboo Fire Centre Saturday, April 20 with multiple fires breaking out around the region.

Challenged by dry, windy conditions, the BC Wildfire Service responded to several wildfires, including the largest and most visible fire, the Burgess Creek wildfire, located between Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Madison Dahl, BCWS information officer, said the Burgess Creek wildfire was discovered at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, and grew to 50 hectares by evening.

In the Sunday morning update, the fire is now estimated to be 1,600 hectares. Once again the crews will face windy conditions.

The Burgess Creek wildfire remains out of control, and has prompted a continued full response from the BCWS on site including crews, air support and heavy equipment.

Smoke from the fire is highly visible from Highway 97, Quesnel and Williams Lake areas attracting a lot of attention from area residents.

Sunday evening, the Cariboo Regional District issued an evacation alert for six parcels of land due to the Burgess Creek wildfire.

The area is about 45 kms southeast of Quesnel and approximately the same distance northeast of Williams Lake. It is directly east of the communities of Alexandria and Windt Creek by about 30 kms.

The affected area encompasses all of Ben Lake and stretches north to encompass all of Beedy Creek at the end of Beavermouth Road, near the intersection of Crestwood Road alongside Quesnel Hydraulic Road.

“This alert covers 3,283 hectares,” said the CRD’s statement. It applies to six parcels of land in the Burgess Creek vicinity, “because of the potential danger to life and health.”

The fire has been classified as suspected to be human caused. From an aerial prospective, the fire appears to be located within several logging blocks.

There were several other smaller fires in the CFC area Saturday but they were responded to quickly with the help of fire departments in Quesnel, Wildwood and Williams Lake, and are considered being held or out.

Dahl encouraged residents to be aware of the extremely dry conditions and cautious with campfires, ensuring tools and water are available and nearby if needed.

READ MORE: Fox Mountain fuel management reduces Williams Lake wildfire risk

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Four houses damaged, three people injured in Aldergrove fire

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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