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Artemis Gold reducing staff at Blackwater Mine due to wildfires

Several fires are burning west of Quesnel
Blackwater Mine (Photo provided by Artemis Gold Inc)

Artemis Gold announced it is temporarily reducing the number of non-essential staff and contractors at the Blackwater Mine in central B.C. as precautionary measures due to wildfires in the region.

Approximately 20 personnel, including emergency response teams, remain on site to actively monitor the situation, the company said in a July 10 statement.

Blackwater Mine project in central British Columbia approximately 160km southwest of Prince George and 450km northeast of Vancouver.

The project is one of the largest capital investments in the Bulkley-Nechako, Fraser-Fort George and Cariboo regions of B.C. in the last decade.

“The safety of our employees, contractors and the local and Indigenous communities is our top priority. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary,” said Steven Dean, CEO of Artemis Gold.

There are several wildfires in the area which have prompted evacuation alerts and orders.

An evacuation alert remains in place for the Branch Road wildfire issued by the Cariboo Regional District Saturday. This fire was discovered Friday night, July 7 and is suspected to be caused by lightning.

The Branch Road wildfire has grown to 447 hectares and is considered out of control.

The Townsend Creek wildfire is located 2.5 km east of Margaret Lake, west of Quesnel, and was discovered Saturday, July 8 at 1:17 p.m. The Townsend Creek wildfire is now considered a wildfire of note and has prompted an evacuation order in the area.

The Townsend Creek wildfire is estimated to be 400 hectares as of Monday morning, July 10.

The Nazko Road is closed in both directions due to the fires.

The province temporarily closed Highway 27 between Vanderhoof and Fort St. James Saturday night due to the burning Tsah Creek wildfire.

READ MORE: Evacuation order issued for Finger Lake area

Black Press Media Staff

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