Rumours about blaze spread like wildfire

Things have calmed down in the Bulkley Valley after a week of uncertainty due to a wildfire blazing near Houston.

Things have calmed down in the Bulkley Valley after a week of uncertainty due to a wildfire blazing near Houston.

Some evacuees were able to return home over the weekend and many more could breathe a sigh of relief once their evacuation alerts were cancelled.

At one point, 120 homes were evacuated and 574 more were on alert.

As of Monday’s press deadline, there were still some residents on alert or evacuated.

“Despite progress that has been made, this is still a large, uncontrolled wildfire, and current weather conditions, combined with dry forest fuels, are conducive to extreme fire behaviour. The public is encouraged to stay vigilant at all times,” said a press release from the northwest fire centre on Sunday.

The wildfire also caused chaos at the gas pumps in Smithers on Friday afternoon. Some were worried about losing power or water to the wild fire activity after a rumour started on social media when a Village of Telkwa press release was posted that was never meant to be distributed.

However, a spokesperson with BC Hydro said there were no planned power or imminent outages for the Hazeltons, Smithers, Terrace or Telkwa. If the China Nose Wildlife happened to affect some transmission lines south of Highway 16, backup power sources would kick in and residents would still have power.

Highway 16 was also reopened in both directions east of Topley after being shut down for a day with fears of the wildfire jumping the road.

The China Nose fire was sparked by lighting.

Down the road, a different wildfire is causing grief for some residents. The Chuchi Lake Wildfire is burning near Fort St. James. An evacuation alert for residents in that area was put in place on Sunday. The cause of the blaze is not known.