British Columbia

High winds and lack of rain suggests no breaks in sight for B.C. wildfire season

A rising heat wave and significant winds across the southern half of British Columbia helped ignite 11 new wildfires across the province in the past 24 hours.

103 ground personnel working to contain wildfire near Kamloops

Smoke from a wildfire billows around Kamloops, B.C. (Nadia Jannif/CBC)

A rising heat wave and significant winds across the southern half of British Columbia helped ignite 11 new wildfires across the province in the past 24 hours.

Claire Allen of the BC Wildfire Service says of those fires, six were human-caused, one was started by lightning, while the remaining four are under investigation.

She says the province is unlikely to get a reprieve, with no rain or cooler temperatures in the long-term forecast.

Allen says B.C. is in the core of the wildfire season, which typically runs from April 1 until the end of September or early October.

She urges anyone camping or using camp or cooking fires in the open to take extreme caution and follow all of their regional regulations.

Wildfire near Kamloops 

The BC Wildfire Service is currently battling 12 active fires across the province, including a fire near Kamloops which has been burning since July 12.

That wildfire near East Shuswap Road, Kamloops is around 500 hectares in size. The BC Wildfire Service calls it an interface fire, meaning the fire is close enough to residential homes and other structures and could spread.

The service says crews — which include 89 ground personnel, heavy equipment, and four helicopters — are working on the fire's west, east and southern flanks to contain it. The north side of the fire is contained. Air tankers are on standby.

On Friday, the Tkemlups First Nation issued an evacuation alert for select residents along East Shuswap Road due to strong winds.

The origin of the fire is still under investigation.

The BC Wildfire Service says vacationers heading toward Kamloops, Salmon Arm, and the Shuswap lakes region should be aware of the danger of the wildfires, as well as potential smokiness throughout the region.

Read more from CBC British Columbia

With files from the Canadian Press

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