Firefighters are on the scene of a forest fire northwest of Pemberton that has forced an industrial project to evacuate the area.
The fire — near Boulder Creek — was discovered on June 30.
Since then, the blaze has spread rapidly, leading the Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) on Saturday, July 4, to declare a State of Local Emergency and issue an evacuation order that applies to both sides of the Upper Lillooet Forest Service Road (FSR) from the nine-km mark to the top of the Pemberton Valley (in effect, Upper Lillooet Provincial Park).
The evacuation order applies to the Innergex IPP near Boulder Creek, as well as two pumice mines, one of which is non-operational.
No residential or agricultural properties are currently under the evacuation order.
Click the embedded link to view the specific area under the evacuation order.
Located in steep terrain, the fire is zero-per-cent contained at this time, according to the SLRD. As of Sunday, July 5, it has spread to an estimated 1,500 hectares.
"This fire is displaying a vigorous and aggressive rate of spread, with periods of organized crown fire," read a notice from the BC Wildfire Service. "This type of fire behaviour consumes timber completely through to the tree tops, and has a high potential of spotting ahead of the fire. It also poses a safety risk for ground crews and aircraft conducting fire suppression efforts."
Thirteen firefighters and four helicopters are currently battling the blaze.
The Upper Lillooet FSR is currently closed at the nine-km mark. The Hurley River FSR remains open.
The BC Wildfire Service says it was started by lightning.
There are several active wildfires across the province, according to BC Wildfire's website, leaving a haze as far away as Downtown Vancouver. The largest — a 611-hectare blaze in the Elaho Valley — was discovered on June 14.
As of July 2, all types of open fires are prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre region.
Currently prohibited activities include the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches, burning barrels, binary exploding targets and the use of air curtain burners.
Campfires are also prohibited.
For more information on wildfires visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-3FOREST.
To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555.
With files from Brandon Barrett