A 25,000-hectare wildfire that had been burning out of control for more than two weeks southwest of Prince George, B.C. is about 80 percent contained, the B.C. Wildfire Mangement Branch reported Sunday.

Quiet winds, cool temperatures and wetter weather is helping bring the fire under control.

An evacuation order for the area around Norman Lake has been downgraded to an alert, reducing to 65 from 80 the number of people still out of their homes.

However the fire is still burning within 500 metres of the southwestern shore of the lake.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for an area around Bobtail Lake including:

  • The intersection of the Bobtail Forest Service Road and the Blackwater Road, south to the Bobtail Connector Forest Service Road, including all lands east of the Bobtail Forest Service Road and the Bobtail
  • Connector Forest Service Road to the eastern boundary of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Area ‘F’
  • (Vanderhoof Rural), including the Little Bobtail Lake, Naltesby Lake, and Eulatazella Lake.

While progress has been made on multiple flanks, the Wildfire Management Branch says crews are still being challenged in certain areas.

It issued the photo above to show how fire behaviour on the fire’s northern flank is still displaying aggressive behaviour.

It also says there are safety concerns over reports of the public coming in and out of evacuation alert and order areas.

The fire fighting service points out the Little Bobtail lake wildfire is still active and warns driving or using recreational vehicles in restricted or evacuated areas could endanger the lives of crew who rely on the roads for access and for escape routes.

More than 320 firefighters are still on site