UPDATED: Mayor says Hudson’s Hope a ‘ghost town’ after fire prompts evacuation order

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

The Mount McAllister fire continues to threaten the small community of Hudson’s Hope.

Mayor Gwen Johansson is one of the few people who has stayed behind. She says it’s ” like living in a ghost town,” now that residents have been ordered out in case the fire jumps the Peace River.

She says it’s a frightening and bizarre, but she hopes for the best.

“One of the encouraging things is that as I look out the window this morning, it’s pretty cloudy and it’s damp and that’s a change from the usual situation than we’ve had for the last few months.”

Johansson says she is one of about 100 people keeping the town running until they are forced to leave, or the remainder of the town’s 1,100 residents are allowed to return.

Fire information officer Jill Kelsh says crews will get a better look at the size of the fire this morning.

She says the change in weather may not be a good thing.

“We are expecting some winds today and so that’s definitely a concern for us. But with that said, last night they started the use of air tankers to build a guard with retardant to help them with some of their burn off procedures last night.”

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman says her community has stepped up to welcome the evacuees with open arms.

“You’ve left your home. You don’t know how it is doing. You don’t know how your community is doing. And so you know the stress is there and all we can do is try and make life as normal as possible for them.”

Still, Ackerman says the situation is tense. Lightning struck last night and knocked out power to some homes.

The fire remains 12 to 14 kilometers away from Hudson’s Hope but has shrunk from 20,000 to 16,000 hectares.

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