Fire: thousands of evacuations, state of emergency in British Columbia


Dachsel, 72, said the roads leading out of her community have been closed in nearly every direction and the fear of not knowing what to do is nearly as frightening as the fires.

Fires surrounded three sides of Cache Creek, just north of Ashcroft, prompting Mayor John Ranta to sign an evacuation notice for all of the town's 1,000 or so residents.

Firefighters are battling more than 200 wildfires burning across British Columbia as the province prepares for several more days of hot and dry weather, leaving thousands of residents anxious about their homes.

It's only early July, but with hundreds of wildfires sparking up in the last two days alone, some are concerned that B.C. could be on track for a record fire season.

On Saturday, Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta said the fire - now estimated at 4,200 hectares in size - had destroyed dozens of buildings.

Ms. Clark said the B.C. government chose to allocate the money through the Red Cross because the agency has valuable experience in delivering relief quickly, noting the Alberta government provided financing through the Red Cross in the case of the Fort McMurray fires past year.

Duffy said the aircraft would be on standby and ready to help wherever they were needed, but that they would not be assisting with fire suppression at this time.

Fire: thousands of evacuations, state of emergency in British Columbia
Fire: thousands of evacuations, state of emergency in British Columbia

There were six lightning strikes within the city limits Friday. Instead of using important resources to look for where people might be located, they instead rely on the use of an app that provide crucial and potentially life-saving information about what is occurring on the ground during a crisis.

With the recent spate of hot dry weather, and more hot, dry weather in the forecast, the Fire Centre has made a decision to implement the ban. "If they pose a risk we'll be getting resources on them as soon as we can".

The Canadian Forces are en route to Kelowna to help fight the estimated 230 wildfires burning across B.C. As many as 6,000 residents of the Cariboo and Kamloops fire districts were evacuated.

More than 220 wildfires are now burning in BC, according to the BC Wildfire Service. It's northeast of 100 Mile House, where one fire continues to burn out of control.

The release said prohibitions on larger Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are already in effect throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. It's been described as aggressively active and has prompted closures of Highway 97 as well as evacuations.

Some 56 new wildfires were started across the province by mid-Saturday, raising the total number of active and risky wildfires to more than 240, local media reported.

BC Hydro relations co-ordinator Dave Mosure, some of the evacuees could be on their way to Prince George now that Highway 97 northbound from 100 Mile House through Williams Lake to Prince George has been reopened. "There are burnt poles and lines are down and we are mobilizing extra crews".