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The Donnie Creek wildfire is the largest in British Columbia’s history

The Donnie Creek wildfire has grown into the largest blaze ever recorded in British Columbia, says the BC Wildfire Service.

A screen grab from the CBC News video shows the extent of the Donnie Creek wildfire in British Columbia. Source - CBC News
A screen grab from the CBC News video shows the extent of the Donnie Creek wildfire in British Columbia. Source - CBC News

The Donnie Creek wildfire has grown into the largest blaze ever recorded in British Columbia, says the BC Wildfire Service.

Sparked by lightning on May 12, 2023, the Donnie Creek wildfire in northeastern British Columbia has now surpassed the 2017 Plateau fire as the largest individual fire in the province’s history.

As of Sunday,, the Blaze had consumed an area of 5,343.88 square kilometers (2,063 square miles). It is still not responding to suppression efforts and remains out of control, according to the BCWS, reports CBC News.

The 2017 Plateau fire, near Williams Lake, was an amalgamation of several smaller fires that burned a total of 5,210 square kilometers.

This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 18 May, shows one of the fires – the fire at Donnie Creek, British Columbia. Source – ESA, Copernicus Sentinel 2

The wildfire is burning 136 kilometers southeast of Fort Nelson, and 158 kilometers north of Fort St. John, in the province’s Peace River region. The Donnie Creek wildfire is one of about 80 fires burning across the province.

BCWS fire information officer Marg Drysdale said the blaze was “extremely active” on Sunday and that in some pockets, the fire was so aggressive it was burning the tops of trees — what is called “Crown fire” behavior, CTV News is reporting.

“We have cooler conditions today,” she said on Sunday morning. “But this fire is so large that there are different weather patterns and different weather conditions on different parts of the fire.”

Drysdale explained the fire was started by lightning but is currently the result of about eight fires that grew quickly and merged into one blaze.

“It’s really important for people right across the province to understand that we have not hit the fire season that we normally see in July and August,” she said.

“We’re in the middle of June. If conditions continue as they have, if we get a hot summer, we are going to see more impacts.”

Meanwhile, an area along the Alaska Highway is under an evacuation order as the fire creeps closer to the road.

“Structure protection specialists and personnel are responding to this incident – including areas now under evacuation order – to assess properties and infrastructure and install structure protection equipment wherever feasible at active sections of the fire perimeter and on defendable structures within the perimeter where the fire has not yet burned,” the service says.

Drysdale also says the BC Wildfire Service expects the fire will continue to grow throughout the summer and into fall.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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