UPDATE: Fire near Quesnel triples in size

Evacuees are coming from multiple areas impacted by forest fires

The Dragon Mountain wildfire has tripled in size since Saturday afternoon.

The BC Wildfire Service now estimates the Dragon Mountain wildfire is 1,500 hectares in size.

The fire, 25 kilometres southeast of Quesnel, was discovered on Friday, and remains to be zero per cent contained.

Highway 97 is open to northbound traffic from Williams Lake and closed southbound 15 km south of Quesnel.

At the directive of the government, evacuees are now being encouraged to head to Prince George and not Quesnel.

Director of Emergency Social Services in Quesnel, Jeff Norburn, says evacuees who are from the South or Central Cariboo, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake area, are being directed to head to Prince George.

The Reception Centre in Quesnel has been told by the Cariboo Regional District to turn people away.

Residents from the North Cariboo on the other hand can still head to the Quesnel centre.

“We will make a decision about the Reception Centre here in Quesnel,” says Norburn. “There still may be people who are or will be evacuated from Quesnel. We have the centre open and we can still provide people with directional information and that kind of thing.”

Those with animals can also continue to head to Alex Fraser Park, next door to the Quesnel Reception Centre.

Those arriving at the Quesnel centre with donations of food, clothing and toys are being turned away. Norburn says they have more than they need in regards to those items.

The Prince George Reception Centre is located at The College of New Caledonia, 3330 22 Ave, Prince George.

More details to come.

——

ORIGINAL:

Residents around the Quesnel area are being evacuated after multiple fires sparked in the region.

Director of Emergency Social Services in Quesnel, Jeff Norburn, says dozens of people have arrived for help.

The Reception Centre is set up at the Arts and Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Road, Quesnel.

“Evacuees coming from areas affected by forest fires are able to come here to the reception centre where they’re able to register with us and we can provide services through the province’s emergency social services program, “explains Norburn.

He says emergency social services were activated Friday night at about 8:30 p.m. and have been running non-stop since.

“I’d estimate we’ve seen 50-60 evacuees so far,” adds Norburn. “They are coming from multiple areas impacted by forest fires, but our initial evacuees were from the Alexandria area and a number are also from the Williams Lake area and 150 Mile House.”

Evacuees can find things like accommodation, food and clothing at the reception centre.

“It has been picking up steadily today so we definitely could use some volunteers,” adds Norburn. “If anyone is interested in volunteering they can come down here, people who can help complete paper work.”

Those with pets who are evacuating their homes can reach out to the Pet Safe Coalition in Alex Fraser Park, next door to the Reception Centre. The will work with you to find your animals a safe place.

Highway 97 southbound is still closed south of Quesnel due to the wildfire, but open for northbound traffic.

Fire crews continue to fight dozens of smaller fires throughout the region, including an approximately 500-hectare fire at Dragon Mountain, to the southeast of Quesnel.

More than 180 fires are burning across the province now, forcing thousands of British Columbians to evacuate their homes with dozens of properties and buildings being destroyed.

More to come.

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