British Columbia

Firefighters tackle 3 new wildfires across B.C.

Firefighters in British Columbia are already busy this spring.

One fire has grown 8 times in size within a day

In this file photo, a helicopter dumps a load of water on the Philpot Road fire outside of Kelowna, B.C., Monday, August 28, 2017. The B.C. Wildfire Service says crews are battling three wildfires — two that have exploded in size over the course of an afternoon. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The B.C. Wildfire Service is battling three wildfires across the province — two that have exploded in size over the course of an afternoon.

The Allie Lake fire, north of Kamloops, has grown to 800 hectares. It was around 60 hectares earlier in the day.

The blaze isn't far from the perimeter of last summer's Elephant Hill fire, which was one of the largest in the province during the season.

Another wildfire near Xusum Creek, about 35 kilometres west of Lillooet, has tripled to 300 hectares.

The wildfire service says the fire has moved over Highline Road and crews are working to minimize fire growth in the area.

Late Thursday, an evacuation order was issued for two properties along Highline.

Two other evacuation alerts are in place and residents are urged to check the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District website for further information. 

Both the Allie Lake and Xusum Creek fires were out of control as of Thursday afternoon. 

Vancouver Island fire

A third wildfire is burning on Vancouver Island, about 15 kilometres southwest of Campbell River.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the fire, near Middle Quinsam Lake, is now bigger than 12 hectares.

There are 19 firefighters on the ground with two helicopters in the air.

The fire started Wednesday and is believed to be human caused.

Smoke is visible from Campbell River, but the Strathcona Regional District says there is no threat to the city at this time. Crews don't anticipate any complications getting the blaze under control.

"At this point it's not a tinder box, but we are still encouraging people to be careful with their fires," said Jeanne Larsen with the Coastal Fire Centre.

Although the fire isn't burning near any homes, it has reached an area close to the Quinsam coal mine, which has been evacuated as a precaution.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is reminding people that "category 2" open burns are currently banned in the Coastal, Prince George, Kamloops and Cariboo Fire Centre regions.

With files from the Canadian Press

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