Here's what British Columbians are facing under a blanket of smoke and blazing wildfires
Province declares state of emergency
Nearly 600 fires are burning across British Columbia, covering the sky in flame-coloured haze and blanketing the air with smoke.
A provincial state of emergency has been declared.
Dozens of evacuation orders and alerts are in effect in the north and central regions, affecting more than 20,000 people.
In Burns Lake, in the central Interior, hotels are at zero vacancy, so anyone without a place to stay is being told to drive to Prince George, over 200 kilometres away.
Fraser Lake Mayor Dwayne Lindstrom said Tuesday the smoky conditions and dark skies were unlike any he'd experienced in decades living in the village, some 130 kilometres west of Prince George.
"It's probably one of the weirdest days I've ever had in my life," Lindstrom told Radio West guest host Audrey McKinnon.
The entire south side of nearby Francois Lake is being evacuated and roads back into the area are now closed.
In areas across the province, the skies darkened in the early afternoon on Tuesday — so much so that street lights turned on and residents drove around with headlights on as smoke and ash choked out the light.
Officials are asking British Columbians under evacuation orders to leave immediately, using identified routes that are not blocked by flames.
The smoky skies have prompted air quality advisories throughout the week in areas including Williams Lake and Quesnel, Metro Vancouver, Kamloops, North Okanagan and Victoria.
More than 3,300 firefighters and contractors are actively engaged in fighting the blazes in all fire regions of the province and additional resources are being called in from other provinces and countries.
B.C. RCMP were deployed to assist with wildfire impacts throughout the province on Wednesday, providing vehicles, supplies and additional officers to help man checkpoints and provide relief to local detachments.
On Monday, the federal government announced it is sending aircraft and 200 troops to help fight the wildfires.
Some British Columbians, like Bulkley-Nechako regional district board chair Bill Miller, have expressed concerns about why the province took so long to request additional help.
The Canadian Red Cross is urging all people living near active fires to regularly check information from their local authority and Emergency Management B.C.
With files from Mike Laanela and Andrew Kurjata.