B.C. under state of emergency

B.C. premier extends state of emergency to the rest of the province

Thousands more were ordered to evacuate their homes in British Columbia Saturday evening, as fires continued to rage out of control.

This is in addition to the 8,000 to 10,000 residents who have already evacuated their homes.

Early Saturday evening, B.C.'s premier Gordon Campbell extended the state of emergency to the rest of the province.

Campbell urged everyone to take extreme caution to prevent further fires.

He said there were more than 350 active fires in the province, including 25 new ones that started between Friday and Saturday afternoon.

By Saturday evening, the fires covered at least 380 square kilometres.

The state of emergency allows the province to use resources from across B.C.

About 80 military personnel will join the province's crews by Sunday afternoon.

Fire Commander Denis Gaudry said the fires were off the charts. "Extreme fire behaviour, and some unprecedented rates of spread that people who work in this business have never seen before," he said.

Greatest destruction in Barriere

There are three major fires one southeast of Kamloops and two to the north. One of the fires near Rayleigh, just north of Kamloops, spread from a small spark to a 30-hectare wildfire in just five minutes on Friday.

The fires have already destroyed at least 75 homes and several businesses in the Thompson River valley, according to officials.

Nadine Doggett, a Barriere resident told CBC Newsworld the scene behind her home was "pretty scary" with black smoke rising all around.

More than 8,000 people in several communities were without power and B.C. Hydro said it could be days, possibly weeks, before it's restored.

Attempts to put the fires out are being challenged by changing winds and hot weather.

The Saturday temperature in the Kamloops area was forecast to be 32 C. Winds of 50 km/h were expected to fan the fires.