British Columbia

More than 200 wildfires burning as B.C. Wildfire Service says risk is high to extreme

More than two dozen wildfires sparked overnight across British Columbia and the B.C. Wildfire Service website shows nearly half are believed to have been caused by lightning.

15 fires classified as highly visible or potentially threatening

A helicopter pilot prepares to drop water on a wildfire burning in Lytton, B.C., on July 2. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

More than two dozen wildfires sparked overnight across British Columbia and the B.C. Wildfire Service website shows nearly half are believed to have been caused by lightning.

One of those blazes has already charred more than two square kilometres of bush in northwestern B.C., forcing an evacuation order and alerts for properties around Bulkley Lake.

The wildfire service says the fire is classified as out of control but 15 firefighters, backed by five pieces of heavy equipment, worked through the night to keep flames away from any structures.

The evacuation area covers a section of Highway 16 northwest of Burns Lake, as well as part of CN Rail's main line to Prince Rupert, but DriveBC, the province's online road condition website, does not list any travel disruptions.

There are more than 200 active fires burning across the province, of which 15 are classified as highly visible or potentially threatening, including the blaze that destroyed the Village of Lytton last week and a 392-square kilometre fire northwest of Kamloops.

Both those fires remain out of control with the fire danger rating for most of B.C. ranked at high to extreme.

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