B.C. forest fire danger rating - July 19 noon

The B.C. Wildfire Management Branch said Saturday much of the northern and central areas of the province lowered wildfire danger ratings to low or moderate, but many areas in southern B.C. still have ratings of high to extreme. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)

Cooler weather and light rain in parts of British Columbia provided some relief for firefighters Saturday, prompting officials to downgrade fire danger ratings in some parts of the province.

Navi Saini of the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch said much of the northern and central areas of the province have lowered their ratings to low or moderate.

But Saini said many areas in southern B.C. still have ratings of high to extreme, which means new fires will start easily and spread quickly.

About 200 firefighters from Eastern Canada were expected to arrive this weekend to help fight fires, with some due to arrive Saturday in Prince George.

A total of 159 fires are blazing across the province.

Ten evacuation orders or alerts are in effect, the largest being at Smith Creek, near West Kelowna where 2,500 people have been asked to leave their homes.

More West Coast wildfire news:

With files from CBC News