Advancing wildfires in northeastern B.C. have more than 20,000 people prepared to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. The entire municipality of Fort St. John has been placed on evacuation alert due to advancing wildfires in the area. An alert means that people do not need to leave their homes but should be prepared to do so at a moment’s notice. The alert was issued at 2:30 p.m. Pacific due to the Stoddart Creek Wildfire, which is classified as out of control and is estimated to cover 180 square kilometres (18,000 hectares) as of noon Monday. It is one of two large fires burning northwest of Fort St. John, along with the Red Creek fire. Highway 97 has also been closed 27 kilometres north of the city due to the blaze, with fire information officer Hannah Swift saying that the Stoddart Creek fire is burning on either side of the road.