🔥Wildfire Update: June 3, 2023

Apologies for not updating this information on June 2, 2023, PJXM was closed on June 2. Below is the latest information from the BC Wildfire website as of June 3, 2023. The fire is now an estimated 231,570 hectares and the increase is due to controlled burns.

Fire Behaviour & Weather: 

A BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team (IMT) continues to ensure a coordinated response for the Donnie Creek Complex located approximately 158 km north of Fort St. John and 136 km southeast of Fort Nelson.

Portions of the Donnie Creek wildfire (G80280) have exhibited Rank 5 fire behaviour in recent days as organized crown fire fronts advance into volatile black spruce and mature pine stands. Large columns of smoke have been visible from Highway 97. Fire activity was somewhat reduced Wednesday thanks to cooler temperatures and afternoon cloud cover. The Donnie Creek wildfire has continued to grow albeit at a slower pace over the past several days. 

Efforts to secure the south branch are underway with favourable weather conditions. Today, Friday, there will be mostly sunny in the morning with increasing cloudiness in the afternoon with a chance of late day showers or thundershowers. The outlook is set to become increasingly unstable from an approaching upper level low/trough from the west and warming surface temperatures from a building upper ridge to the east. As a result, thundershowers and lightning are possible throughout much of this period, with the greatest likelihood on Saturday into Sunday. There appears to be signs of some precipitation associated with these storms. Dry lightning is not as much of a concern as it would be otherwise. Precipitation amounts will be highest in return flow areas to the north of the upper low track.  

A wildland firefighter from the BCWS looking at the Donnie Creek Wildfire. – BCWS

Watch for a shift to SE winds on today – in the moderate range – lasting through much of Saturday.  

Complex Objectives: 

The IMT is ensuring a coordinated response to the Donnie Creek Complex, which consists of the three wildfires: Klua Lakes (G90273), Muskwa River (G90292) and Donnie Creek (G80280).

Incident staff are working with industry partners, First Nations, and other local governments to manage the assigned complex of modified response fires. Our focus will be protecting priority one and two values (human life, property, and infrastructure) and limiting impacts on local industry. Because of the remote work location and hazards common to this large area, ensuring the safety and well-being of responders, the public and industry is paramount.


On the afternoon of June 1, 2023, a planned ignition was carried out to secure approximately 30 kilometres of line along the southwest flank of the fire. The area ran along Coal Creek, on the north of Tommy Lake Road and concluded on West Beatton Forest Service Road. The area burned in this operation was approximately 10,000 hectares but encapsulated an area of approximately 48,000 hectares that is partly an old burn scar and partially muskeg, as well as some free burning at various locations along the perimeter. This accounts for the increased size of approximately 60,000 hectares. The bay that has been encapsulated has not been entirely blackened but remains largely unburned. 

Donnie Creek wildfire. – BCWS

A second burn plan has been approved to secure the guard on the southeast flank of the fire. This burn will be conducted if conditions permit.   

Structure protection specialists and personnel are responding to this incident to assess properties and infrastructure and install structure protection equipment wherever feasible at active sections of the fire perimeter and on defendable structures within the perimeter where the fire has not yet burned.

With the support of heavy equipment and bucketing by helicopters, ground crews continue to use direct, parallel and indirect fire suppression methods along the southern flanks of the Donnie Creek wildfire perimeter to establish control and contingency lines to protect the properties, infrastructure, and industry assets.

Because of the remote work location and hazards common to this vast boreal forest area, ensuring the safety and well-being of responders, industry and the public remain paramount.

It should be noted that the wildfires Donnie Creek (G80280), West Conroy Creek (G80287), Hockey Creek (G80315) and Katah Creek (G80274) merged and are now identified together as the Donnie Creek wildfire (G80280). 

Evacuation Alerts:

The Peace River Regional District has issued an Evacuation Order and an Alert for the area. For up-to-date information regarding the alert please visit their website here.

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality has issued an Evacuation Order and and Alert for the area. For up-to-date information regarding the alert please visit their website here.

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