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NEWS RELEASE · 20th August 2010
Northwest Fire Centre
As forecasted, gusty winds of up to 40 kilometres per hour have caused aggressive fire activity on the fires currently burning south of Houston and Burns Lake areas.

The largest fire, the Binta Lake fire has now combined with the Llgitiyuz Lake fire and the Prince George Fire Centre fire that started north of Copily Lake. These fires will now be considered as the Binta Lake fire, which currently has a combined fire size of over 25,000 hectares. Winds last night pushed the fire 17.5 kilometres towards the east.

Although the fire has grown mainly towards the east, aggressive fire behaviour is visible on many sides. Smoke from this fire is visible to many surrounding communities and affecting communities to the east including Francois Lake and Fraser Lake. The strong winds may also cause ash and embers to fall into surrounding areas.

Several fires south of Houston increased in size yesterday. The Duck Lake fire burning near Poplar Lake is currently estimated at 5000 hectares in size. The growth on this fire has been predominantly east towards Francois Lake. Amphibious aircraft worked on this fire yesterday to protect structures and the power poles leading to Huckleberry Mine.

The fire discovered on Sunday, located two kilometres northeast of Owen Lake is currently estimated at 2000 hectares in size. The Incident Management Team working on this fire is developing a strategy to action this fire with ground and air resources as soon as it is safe to do so.

Structure protection specialists have been deployed to assess and implement structure protection plans and personnel as required.

Both today and yesterday, due to continued strong winds, most fire fighters were not put on the fire lines today, but instead are on standby in case they need to work to protect life or property depending on the growth of the fire. Responder and public safety will continue to remain as our top priorities, and responders will not be put at risk to protect structures or remove those that refuse to obey evacuation orders.

The Bulkley-Nechako Regional District has issued evacuation orders and alerts for residents in some areas potentially threatened by these fires. For more information, contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 250-692-3195 or 250-692-9411.

Due to wildfire activity, the Northwest Fire Centre has restricted access to Crown land within the areas south along Highway 16 East from Walcott including Houston, Burns Lake to Fraser Lake, and north of Tahtsa Lake, Ootsa Lake, and Knewstubb Lake. For more information and a map of the restriction, please see http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/DisplayBan.asp?ID=298#ForestUseRestrictions.

If you see flames, smoke, or an abandoned campfire, please call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555. For the latest information on fire activity, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca. For Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions and air quality advisories, go to www.firesafebc.ca.

To see a YouTube video by the BC Forest Service of the Binta Lake fire from August 18, CLICK HERE