Weather change could bring help, or hell, for fire-threatened B.C. community

Only a handful of residents remain in the northeastern British Columbia district of Hudson’s Hope, hours after an evacuation order was issued for the community about 90 kilometres west of Fort. St. John.

VANCOUVER — Only a handful of residents remain in the northeastern British Columbia district of Hudson’s Hope, hours after an evacuation order was issued for the community about 90 kilometres west of Fort. St. John.

The now 160-square-kilometre Mount McAllister wildfire is burning fiercely to the southwest and officials worry that if it jumps the Peace River, there will be little standing between it and the community of 1,150 people.

For the first time in weeks, showers dampened the parched region overnight, but there are extreme thunderstorm warnings for areas for the north and south Peace River region, bringing with it strong winds, hail and possibly rain.

“Right now it’s hard to say whether that thunder-shower activity will be associated with rain or not. So of course dry lightning is also a concern,” said provincial fire information officer Navi Saini.

“Strong winds are expected in many areas of the province, especially in the northeastern sections of the province where we have these large fires. Strong winds will likely increase fire behaviour.”

Highway 29 south of Hudson’s Hope was closed late Wednesday, forcing evacuees to drive eastward to gather at a reception centre in Fort St. John, awaiting an update expected within hours.

There are also two BC Hydro generating stations in Hudson’s Hope, responsible for 30 per cent of the province’s power.

A BC Hydro news release said the evacuation of 200 staff and contractors won’t impact the ability to provide power to the province.

About 140 fires are burning across British Columbia and officials are keeping a close eye on a new incident reported late Wednesday afternoon on Nickel Plate Mountain, west of Apex Mountain, in the southern Okanagan.

That fire is already estimated to have scorched one-square kilometre of bush and is about the same size as the nearby Apex Mountain fire, which broke out a day earlier west of Penticton, prompting evacuation alerts for 13 properties.

There are seven fires burning in the province that threaten structures, four of which have prompted evacuation orders.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read