Evacuations Ordered, Highway Closed after China Nose Wildfire

The unending China Nose wildfire near Houston has resulted in a complete closure of Highway 16 West and evacuation of almost 245 residents in the nearby area. According to details provided by Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako chairperson, Bill Blair, fire officials are primarily concerned about a cold front that is anticipated to move into the region on Friday evening, accompanied by strong winds blowing in the direction of the evacuated homes. The evacuation order was imposed at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Mr. Blair was addressing a public meeting held by the district on Thursday night, when he mentioned that “there is a cold front moving into the area in the next 12 hours. They are predicting wind gusts of up to 40 km/h… [and] sustained winds of up to 20 km/h.” Blair stated that “unfortunately the direction of that wind is going to be southwest or south-southwest.” An estimate of 60 dwellings exist in the evacuation area, which stretches along Highway 16. Blair added that “there isn’t a direct line of timber [from the fire to the homes in the area], but there is a concern about spot fires.”

In addition to that, surplus evacuation alerts were also issued for the northwest and southeast sides of the evacuation zone, which primarily includes areas on the outskirts of Houston and Burns Lake and effects the small communities of Topley and Decker Lake. Additionally, parts of the West’suwet’en First Nation reserve in the area is also under evacuation alert. Blair stated that “the evacuation alert has been expanded substantially,” adding that “it’s a fair amount [of people], because it includes the hamlet of Topley.”

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