FORT ST. JOHN -- Winds have caused a wildfire burning out of control 25 kilometres north of Fort Nelson to rapidly expand overnight.

"The Patry Creek wildfire did not pose an immediate threat to Fort Nelson, but that can rapidly change if the area receives strong northerly winds and continuous dry conditions,” said Ben Boghean in an BC Wildfire update yesterday.

The Patry Creek wildfire has now grown to over 71,000 hectares in size, it is also the second fire in B.C. this year to be designated as a wildfire of note.

“The current forecasted weather has a low transitioning into the region on May 15, which will bring cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity and a chance of rain,” said Boghean.

Structural firefighters are supporting incident management teams on the ground as crew continue to test and deploy sprinkler systems to save critical infrastructure.

Today, crews are working to come up with a Structure Protection Defence plan, with crews and machinery already being working south of Fort Nelson to protect First Nation communities and the Alaska Highway.

“Though these conditions are favorable for the short term, the threat of extreme fire behaviour returning to the region will remain," said Boghean.

CJDC-TV will continue to provide the most up-to-date information on the Patry Creek wildfire as new information develops.