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Shovel Lake fire remains at 86,000 hectares…

We are going to be changing how often we update you folks on the Shovel Lake wildfire. As the fire is still very active the fire hasn’t grown and the information being released is not changing much. We will be updating every two days on the progress of the fire. Our next update will be Friday after 4 pm unless something drastically changes. Below is the latest as of 9 am.

Shovel Lake (R11498)

Last updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Location: approx. 6km north of the community of Fraser Lake
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Discovered: Friday, July 27, 2018

Size: 86,397.0 hectares

Status: Active
The Shovel Lake wildfire has not moved towards Highway 27, Fort St. James, or Highway 16 in the past 5 days. It is currently 14.5km from the furthest eastern point of the fire to Highway 27, however, the main eastern flank of the fire is still between 20km-23km away from Highway 27. The fire is still also holding north of the PNG pipeline guard on the southern flank.

Thick smoke continues to challenge the use of aircraft (including helicopters, airtankers, and water skimmers) due to visibility concerns. Helicopters for this incident and the Island Lake fire have been placed in Fort St. James and Burns Lake to try and take advantage of visibility windows tomorrow.

On the east flank, crews are mitigating the risk to the community of Fort St James and Highway 27. The large sprinkler system along the Sowchea Road was demobilized yesterday due to reduced risk of wildfire impact on Sowchea. Structural protection crews, including engines, water tenders trucks and personnel will remain present in the area. The fire has not moved closer to Fort St. James on the east or north sides, and heavy equipment continues to build guard starting at the Sutherland FSR and links to Dog Creek Trail, with the containment line on the southern perimeter running north of the PNG pipeline and Stella Rd. This continuous guard veers northward to wrap up the eastern side of the fire, crossing Barlow FSR and extending northward utilizing the Bud Rd where continued work will occur over the next few days up towards Sowchea Creek and McNab Lake to connect onto the north side of the fire with the plan being to protect properties, timber values, and minimize environmental impact.

The finger on the southeast side of the fire crossed over Settlement Road two days ago, moving through some heavy timber and into a field, moving under the burn scar from last year. Heavy equipment and crews worked to tie this back in to the perimeter yesterday and will continue with these efforts. Crews conducted minor burn-off operations to fortify the containment lines on the southeast corner, working off of the Sutherland and William Roads.

On the south of the fire, ground crews are working to mop up sections of the fire on the southern perimeter where the successful burn-off occurred by Stern Lake several days ago, and will continue to work along the southern flank of the fire along the PNG pipeline path to ensure properties on north Fraser Lake are secure.

On the west side of the fire, crews continue to see active fire in areas of standing and down dead timber, and will work tomorrow to increase containment in the Hannay and Tatalpin Lake areas.

Beginning today through Thursday afternoon, wind gusts will pick up with prevailing 15 km/hr from the southwest with possible gusts up to 30 km/hr. Crews will work to address any increases in fire behaviour.


Interface Fire
Structural Protection Specialists are engaged with structural firefighters and equipment from the Office of the Fire Commissioner in order to assess and protect structures as needed on the north shore of Fraser Lake, Nadleh Whut’en and out to the Echo Lake and Dog Creek areas. These structural crews are running day and night shifts to ensure public safety and protect structures.

Evacuation Order is in effect.

An Evacuation Order and Alert was expanded at 20:00 hrs August 15, 2018 and remains in effect for this wildfire by the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District. For more information click here.

BC Wildfire Service continues to implement an Area Order Restriction to protect public safety due to the wildfire’s rate of spread and to avoid interference with fire suppression efforts. The area restriction will remain in place until noon on Sept. 15, 2018, or until the order is rescinded. The area restriction order applies to all Crown land outlined on the map (including recreational campgrounds) that is available online at:

Closures: The Trout Lake FSR is CLOSED due to fire activity. The Sutherland Road is closed from the 15 km mark.

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PJXM News is a small citizen media out of Prince George, BC. PJXM dishes out Police news from BC's Central Interior and up to the Peace Region.
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