Wildfire triggers evacuations, state of local emergency near Chetwynd, B.C.

CHETWYND, B.C. — An out-of-control wildfire in northeastern British Columbia has triggered the province’s first evacuation of this year’s fire season.

The Peace River Regional District declared a state of local emergency and issued an evacuation order for an area near Chetwynd, B.C., last night.

The 50-hectare Wildmare Creek fire has also prompted an evacuation alert covering homes directly west of the community, with the district saying there’s “potential danger to life” and residents should be ready to leave on short notice.

The Ministry of Transportation’s DriveBC information service says a 10-kilometre stretch of Highway 97 is closed due to the fire west of Chetwynd.

The BC Wildfire Service says human activity is the suspected cause of the blaze.

The early start to this year’s wildfire season includes more than 100 active blazes throughout B.C., with four new fires sparked in the last 24 hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press