Fishing on Francois Lake, Burns Lake (Picture BC photo)

Fishing on Francois Lake, Burns Lake

(Picture BC photo)

Burns Lake


Burns Lake is located directly on Highway 16, the main east to west route in Northern British Columbia. The town is 226km/140mi west of Prince George and 145km/90mi east of Smithers. Burns Lake is in central British Columbia on the Nechako Plateau.


Burns Lake is at the centre of the Lakes District of Northern BC, which extends from the Stikine Mountains in the west and the Omineca Mountain Range in the east. The town has at least 20 lakes in its immediate vicinity and more than 300 wilderness lakes in the entire district. It boasts 4,828km/3,000mi of shoreline.

Nearby Lakes

Nearby lakes that are notable for their length include Babine Lake to the north and Francois and Ootsa lakes to the south. Babine Lake and Francois Lake are the longest and second longest natural lakes in the province, respectively.  Ootsa Lake is part of the Nechako Reservoir, which was formed in 1952 after construction of the Kenney Dam to service an aluminum smelter in Kitimat.

Climate and Weather

The climate in Burns Lake is mild in the summer and cold in the winter. Winters last about five months, but they are mostly dry. Summers are moderate. While winter temperatures average -10.6°C/12.9°F, they can sometimes reach -40°C/-40°F. Summer temperatures average around 20°C/68°F.