Petersburg Pilot -

Telegraph Creek fire not contained yet

 

August 2, 2018

B.C. Wildfire Service

The South Stikine River fire just east of Telegraph Creek, B.C., has grown to around 60 square kilometres in size. The B.C. Wildfire Service said it was burning 'aggressively' on Monday and jumped the Stikine River.

The ongoing wildfire near Telegraph Creek, a small town on the Stikine River, has not yet been contained. According to Jody Lucius with the British Columbia Wildfire Service, the fire is a very powerful force of nature that will take time to put out.

"We're focusing on minimizing further impact," she said. "It's going to take a significant amount of time to put out."

The Telegraph Creek Fire is burning in the general direction of another wildfire occurring south of the Stikine River. Lucius said that the wildfire service expects the two fires to combine in the coming days. Approximately 28,000 hectares of land, or about 70,000 acres, have been burned. According to Lucius, 95 members of the wildfire service are on the ground working to contain the fire.

Telegraph Creek is home to roughly 300 people, Lucius said, the majority being of First Nations descent. The town has been put under an evacuation order and, as of a few days ago, the majority of people have left. An emergency operations center has been set up at Dease Lake, a small community several hours to the northeast. Lucius said that people who have evacuated are asked to register themselves there.

Wrangell Island is several hours to the southwest of Telegraph Creek, but members of the community have still been working to lend a helping hand. On August 6, a Telegraph Creek resident by the name of Neoma Sampson posted on Facebook on Wrangell's "Buy, Sell, Trade" page asking if anyone could come upriver with diapers and baby food. She said that she and her son had evacuated to a cabin but did not know how long it would be before they could go home. Residents of both Wrangell and Petersburg chipped in to gather supplies. Calleigh Miller, with Breakaway Adventures, said that the donations were mainly diapers, baby formula, and some items for the mother. Eric Yancey, owner of Breakaway Adventures, transported all these donations up the Stikine to Sampson yesterday.

 

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