British Columbia·Feature

B.C. wildfires: Images of the devastation

Thousands have been forced to flee their homes as B.C. has declared a provincewide state of emergency.

Province has declared a state of emergency

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press) (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

B.C. has declared a provincewide state of emergency, as thousands of people have been forced to flee from their homes.

Above, Kelsey Thorne holds her eight-year-old daughter Nevaeh Porter as they cry while viewing the remains of their home destroyed in a wildfire on the Ashcroft First Nation. 

Homes destroyed

By Monday afternoon, more than 14,000 people had been forced from their homes, with firefighters using all available resources to contain the 220 active wildfires burning across the province.

Despite their efforts, these mobile homes in Boston Flats were destroyed on Sunday, as fire burned on a mountain east of Cache Creek. 

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

'The wind changed'

On a dry day, there are three simple words to describe what can dramatically change any wildfire for the worse — and that's what happened over the weekend.

"The wind changed," said Al Richmond, the chair of Cariboo's Regional District.

A wildfire burns on a mountain near Ashcroft, B.C., on Friday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Lightning sparked several wildfires near Williams Lake, B.C. (Tore_greco/Instagram)

Hot, dry weather 

Weather conditions in B.C.'s Interior are expected to be sunny with temperatures climbing into the high 30s by the end of the week.

A wildfire burns on a mountain behind an RV park office in Cache Creek in the early morning hours of Saturday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
The entire town of 100 Mile House was put under evacuation order on Sunday night. (Mike Zimmer/CBC)

Three key factors have created such an intense wildfire season, experts say: hot, dry, windy weather; fuel, usually in the form of tinder-dry vegetation; and ignition, most often either dry lightning or human activity such as discarded cigarettes. 

A wildfire near Princeton in the B.C. Interior quickly burned through the dry vegetation. (Peter Scobie/CBC)

Aid coming

The federal government is sending assistance to B.C., including air support to help firefighters on the ground who are working round the clock.

Firefighters take a breather while battling an out-of-control wildfire near Princeton, B.C. (Peter Scobie/CBC)

Animals in danger

Horses that survived a wildfire stand outside a neighbouring home to feed after numerous homes were destroyed by fire on the Ashcroft First Nation.

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press) (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Kelsey Thorne's home on the Ashcroft First Nation was destroyed. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)