The BC Wildfire Service says the Shovel Lake fire was very active Thursday, but there was no significant growth in the perimeter of the 684 square kilometre blaze.
Strong winds that were in the forecast failed to materialize, but wildfire officials notified the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako of an
extreme fire behaviour warning late Thursday afternoon due to wind expected in the next 24 hours.
With the warning in effect, the regional district is urging those residents defying evacuation orders to leave immediately.
While Fort St. James remains under an evacuation alert, district officials are asking residents to prepare to leave with very short notice.
The nearby Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation has been assisting its members to voluntarily evacuate the region over the last three days.
The Shovel Lake fire is still about 54 kilometres southwest of Fort St. James, but the most recent evacuation orders from the regional district are located along Highway 27, the only paved road into the district.
The RDBN says the highway will remain open until safe travel is compromised.