British Columbia

Evacuation order issued in Central B.C. after human-caused wildfire

Fire burning along Highway 16 near Fraser Lake and Lejac, B.C., grew to 100 hectares in 5 hours.

Fire burning along Highway 16 near Fraser Lake, Lejac grew to 100 hectares in 5 hours

Residents of Fraser Lake B.C. watch smoke billow up from a wildfire on Saturday. (Sarrah Storey)

A quickly growing wildfire west of Prince George, B.C., has prompted a state of emergency and evacuation orders for some homes.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says it was notified of a wildfire burning near Fraser Lake and Lejac, along Highway 16 around 3 p.m. PT Saturday.

At 8:30 p.m. the fire had grown to 100 hectares in size, and by late Saturday night it had reached 260 hectares.

Around 20 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, which is currently described as being out of control and most likely human-caused. The service also used air tankers to drop fire retardant on the flames.

State of emergency

Around 9 p.m. the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako called a state of emergency and issued an evacuation order for all properties south of Highway 16 to Roys Lake, west and east of Seaspunkut (Lejac).

It did not say how many homes were being evacuated.

The district also issued an evacuation alert for the area South of Highway 16 to south of Klez Lake and east of Drywilliam Lake.

More information about the orders can be found on the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako website.

'We're not ready for this'

Fraser Lake Mayor Sarrah Storey said the fire was very visible from the community and described the flames as "impressive."

She also said that several people in her community were surprised to see a fire like this so early in the season.

"We're not ready for this," she said.

Residents in Prince George said Saturday evening they could smell smoke from the fire and see a hazy horizon at sunset.