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Evacuations expand as wind stokes northern B.C. wildfire

Thursday, August 15th 2019, 4:51 pm - The blaze was almost nine square kilometres in size as of Thursday afternoon

The B.C. Wildfire Service says strong winds early this week caused two of the more prominent fires in the province's northwest to grow.

Two properties with multiple structures are under evacuation order near the Tagish Lake fire, the wildfire service says, while an engineering mining camp on the east side of Tagish Lake is under an evacuation alert.

"They did self-evacuate a while ago due to ash in the area," said fire information officer Carolyn Bartos.

The fire, around 40 kilometres west of Atlin, spread northeast and is now almost nine square kilometres in size. This is smaller than previously estimated due to more accurate mapping.

Twelve firefighters conducted a burnout Wednesday to increase the distance between the fire and nearby cabins.

Large-scale sprinklers have been set up to protect several other cabins in the vicinity, and a remote camera is monitoring fire activity there.

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 4.55.53 PM (The Tagish Lake fire in northern B.C. has spread to almost nine square kilometres, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. Courtesy: BC Wildfire Service)

"The wind is still in the area. It is just starting to take a downturn today and decrease going into tomorrow," said Bartos.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Wildfire Service says the Barrington River fire, around 50 kilometres west of Telegraph Creek, has now expanded to about 46 square kilometres in size.

The fire is about 25 kilometres from a fish camp at Tahltan Lake, where structures have also been outfitted with large-scale sprinklers.

"That fire is not threatening any communities but it is putting up smoke so it is highly visible," said Bartos.

This article was originally published on CBC News. Contains files from the Canadian Press.

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