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British Columbia fires near Stikine River partially contained

first_imgNation & World | Public Safety | SoutheastBritish Columbia fires near Stikine River partially containedAugust 23, 2018 by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK-Petersburg Share:Fire burns near the Stikine River and Sawmill Lake near the community of Telegraph Creek. (Photo courtesy British Columbia Wildfire Service)Wildfires burning near the Stikine River in British Columbia now are partially contained.The Alkali Lake fire was discovered Aug. 1 and is estimated to have burned an estimated 96,000 acres.The fire is now 11 percent contained, according to the British Columbia Wildfire Service.Firefighting crews are working to minimize further impact to two small communities on the river where some buildings have burned:  Glenora and Telegraph Creek, which is is about 160 miles from Wrangell, Alaska.“We’re seeing increased inactive edges of the fire and it’s a very slow moving ground fire for the most part but when winds pick up we see increased fire activity,” said Torbjorn Rive, a fire information officer at a firefighting camp in Dease Lake.It’s an improved status for the blaze that was started by lightning and was burning out of control earlier this month.The regional government declared a state of emergency early this month and an evacuation order was issued for the area.Residents in the two communities left for nearby towns.An incident command crew from Australia has been leading the effort to battle the blaze. Rive said firefighters from across Canada and some from Mexico are working day-and-night.“We’ve got a total of 170 people here,” Rive said. “We’ve got a night shift going and they’re working on and in support of protecting structures and critical assets. We focus on lives and we focus on critical infrastructure and saving as many homes and other values as much as possible. We’ve got I think 19 pieces of heavy equipment, working on fire guards and that includes four water tenders and we got nine helicopters up here, doing things like bucketing and a little bit of foaming operations.”Electrical power has been restored to Telegraph Creek.Traffic has been slowed on the main highway through the area, Highway 37, because of heavy smoke.The roadway to Telegraph, Highway 51, is open only to fire-fighting crews and critical staff.Many other blazes are burning throughout the province. The British Columbia government declared a state of emergency Aug. 14 with more than 500 active fires.Share this story:last_img

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