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UPDATE: Site C ready to evacuate as wildfire looms

UPDATE: Site C ready to evacuate as wildfire looms
BC HYDRO - The Site C project, seen here in a photo from March 2023, has stopped work as it monitors the status of the Stoddart Creek wildfire which has already forced all 21,000 inhabitants of Fort St, John, B.C. to evacuate.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Site C Clean Energy Project in northeastern B.C. suspended work at the dam site yesterday (May 16) as a precaution during a wildfire in the Stoddart Creek area.

“We are closely monitoring the Stoddart Creek wildfire. The Site C project is currently under an evacuation alert. As a precaution, we have suspended work at the dam site and are prepared to evacuate if necessary,” the official Twitter account for Site C said on earlier in the day.

However, hours later the Site C account was updated to read: “With improvements in the weather today, crews are safely returning to work after construction was briefly suspended. We continue to closely monitor the wildfire situation and are prepared to transport workers should an evacuation order be issued.”

Both British Columbia and Alberta are experiencing extensive wildfires under unseasonably high temperatures and dry conditions for this time of year.

Wildfire activity in B.C. is concentrated mostly in the northeastern part of the province and Fort St. John told all 21,000 residents of the area to evacuate on May 16 as the Stoddart Creek wildfire, which has grown to more than 130 kilometres in size, continues to spread.

An update from the BC Wildfire Service Monday afternoon said the Stoddart Creek wildfire was burning out of control and the wildfire service said it had “scorched the traditional territories of the Blueberry River First Nations, Doig River First Nation and Halfway River First Nations near the boundary with Alberta.”

The are more than 60 active wildfires in the province according to the BC Wildfire Service’s online wildfire map as of noon May 16.

This is a developing story.

With files from the Canadian Press

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