British ColumbiaPhotos

Summer of fire

The stories of B.C. wildfire evacuees and firefighters through photos

David Horemans, Bethany Lindsay - CBC News

August 06, 2017

Volunteer crew member Ron Svisdahl helped Riske Creek residents battle the flames, despite having no experience with fire fighting. (Evan Fuller)

One month after out-of-control wildfires prompted B.C. to declare a provincial state of emergency, many blazes are still growing and evacuation orders remain in effect for thousands of people.

Since April, wildfires have swept across nearly 6,000 square kilometres — a chunk of land larger than the entire province of Prince Edward Island. Just under 6,900 people are still living under evacuation orders, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

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Firefighting costs for the season are already estimated at $230 million, and there's no sign of an end to the crisis, with hot and dry conditions expected to continue throughout the week.

CBC News has been there from the beginning to document the devastation. Here's our photographic record of this summer of fire. 

Path of destruction

Garry Classen surveys fire damage on his property after fighting to save his house. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Randy Thorne, left, his wife Angie Thorne, second left, their daughter Kelsey Thorne, and granddaughter Nevaeh Porter, 8, were overcome with emotion as they viewed the remains of their home that was destroyed by wildfire on the Ashcroft First Nation, on July 9, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Animals lost and found

Kelsey Thorne's home on the Ashcroft First Nation was destroyed. Here, she holds her cat, which survived. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Karla Hein wasn't able to save her barn cats, but her show horses were rescued after fire took over Loon Lake. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Heroes

A firefighter rests atop a truck outside Williams Lake. (Simon Hergott/CBC)
Firefighters take a break near Williams Lake, B.C. (Simon Hergott/CBC)

Communities come together

Kamloops resident Elmer King said it was 'overwhelming' to see the thousands of wildfire evacuees and felt like he needed to help. He says he hugged more than 100 people in one day outside the Kamloops reception centre. (Lien Yeung/CBC)
Allie Okino (left) of Cache Creek hugs Jamie Maclean, one of the six Kamloops women who worked together to open a donation centre in a local hotel. (Peter Scobie/CBC)
A woman picks up donations sent from residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta at an evacuation centre in Kamloops. (Daniel Beauparlant/CBC)
Samuel Trickett volunteered with The Salvation Arm at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops. Tricket said he once survived a large house fire. He used that trauma as motivation to help B.C. wildfire child evacuees. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Moving Forward

A young girl stayed at a farm in Kamloops after her family and their horses were forced to escape Loon Lake. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Kids play with a water sprinkler at the Kamloops Evacuation Centre. (Denis Dossman/CBC)
Kitty Braaten watches aerial crews work to contain the Little Fort fire. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
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