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New evacuations ordered as B.C. wildfire flares, but rain possible this weekend

The Canadian Press
New evacuations ordered as B.C. wildfire flares, but rain possible this weekend

VANCOUVER – The BC Wildfire Service says more than 100 new fires have broken out this week in British Columbia as lightning storms and a return to hot weather helped push the number of active fires to nearly 300.

Almost three dozen of those blazes have the potential to endanger people and property, and new evacuations have been ordered as the 325-square kilometre White Rock Lake fire pushes towards Highway 97 between Kamloops and Vernon.

The wildfire service says fire danger in the southern Interior is ranked high to extreme and strong winds forecast over the White Rock Lake fire have the potential to cause further flare-ups through the day.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District expanded its evacuation orders Wednesday night to include about 600 residents in the community of Falkland, telling them to register at a reception centre 50 kilometres away.

There are more than 60 evacuation orders in the province affecting residents and businesses in roughly 4,200 properties who have been told to leave as fire encroaches on their land or on their exits to safety.

Environment Canada is calling for showers over most of B.C. this weekend, possibly giving firefighters a break, but the reprieve will likely be short lived as hot dry weather is expected to return next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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