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Cutoff Creek made off limits as wildfire grows past 6,000 hectares

Wildfire nearly quadruples in size

The BC Wildfire Service issued an order Thursday preventing the general public from venturing into the area surrounding the Cutoff Creek wildfire southwest of Prince George.

Only those with prior written authorization can enter the zone unless they live or own property in the area and are not subject to an evacuation order. An evacuation alert, issued by the Regional District of Bulkely Nechako on Monday, remains in effect.

Failing to comply with the order can yield a fine up to $1,150.

A map showing the area is posted at http://ow.ly/Eomm30rNi2a.

As of Thursday afternoon, the fire stood at 6,064 hectares, nearly four times the 1,589 reported on Wednesday evening.

"Crews and equipment are working to secure the south flank of the fire with aerial support. Burn off operations will be conducted to contain the fire within the fireguards," the B.C. Wildfire Service said in an online posting.

In all, 53 firefighters, two helicopters and 11 pieces of heavy equipment were deployed to the scene.

Lightning was the cause of the fire, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.