"We are facing extremely challenging conditions in the north," Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma said in a statement.

Speaking about the videos posted on social media, fire expert Ben Boghean said extreme fires, exacerbated by years of drought and below-normal snowfall last winter, could threaten crews battling wildfires around Parker Lake. 

In 2023, Canada witnessed a record number of wildfires that also caused choking smoke in parts of the United States and forced more than 250,000 Canadians to evacuate their homes. There were no civilian casualties, but 4 firefighters lost their lives fighting the fires.

"I can only say that we are extremely worried," Ma said, adding that the next 48 hours will be critical for Fort Nelson, with strong westerly winds and dry fuel like kindling in the forest.

Fort Nelson Mayor Rob Fraser said firefighters and emergency workers were preparing for a last stand if the 5,280-hectare blaze moved into the town.

Fraser urged anyone defying an evacuation order to leave immediately, warning that public use could be reduced or stop altogether as much of the local resources such as water pressure and electricity would be diverted to support firefighters trying to suppress the wildfire.

Ma said an additional 200-room accommodation area has been set up for evacuees. As the fire continues to grow, escape routes could be jeopardized and visibility will be poor, he said. 

The risk of smoke from the fires reaching the US again has prompted air quality warnings. 

Ocean water is rushing miles underneath the ‘Doomsday Glacier’ with potentially dire impacts on sea level rise! Ocean water is rushing miles underneath the ‘Doomsday Glacier’ with potentially dire impacts on sea level rise!