Properties near Chetwynd, in British Columbia’s Peace region, are under evacuation alert after a wildfire discovered Sunday grew to seven square kilometers.
He Mount Wartenbe forest fire The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) already considers it a notable wildfire, meaning it is highly visible or a potential threat to public safety.
It’s burning near lonely meadowabout 20 kilometers southeast of Chetwynd and 80 kilometers southwest of Fort St. John.
On Monday, the Peace River Regional District launched an evacuation alert for two dozen addresses along with properties in the vicinity of Highway 97, west of Chetwynd Pulp Mill Road and east of the Guillet subdivision.
The alert means residents should be prepared to leave their properties at short notice should the fire spread.
Over the past month there has been a decrease in wildfire activity across the province, but continued hot and dry conditions in several regions, particularly in the northeast, have maintained the risk of wildfires. Mount Wartenbe is the only notable forest fire in the province after a period in which there was none.
The BCWS says it has deployed 15 firefighters to the Mount Wartenbe fire. Five helicopters are assisting and crews have five pieces of heavy equipment on site.
According to the BCWS, there are still 323 active forest fires In the province, at the end of the season there was the worst fire season recorded in terms of total area burned.
At 28,500 square kilometers, this wildfire season has more than doubled the previous record for burned area, which was 13,500 square kilometers in 2018.