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Some evacuation orders downgraded as cooler weather brings wildfire reprieve to B.C.

The Canadian Press
Some evacuation orders downgraded as cooler weather brings wildfire reprieve to B.C.

VANCOUVER —Several days of showers and cooler weather have dramatically cut the wildfire danger in British Columbia, especially in the hard-hit southern Interior, but drought conditions are expected to return when the sunshine resumes.

The B.C. Wildfire Service listed the current wildfire danger as low on Wednesday across most of the Kamloops Fire Centre, where at least six major fires have destroyed homes in several communities.

The reprieve means some evacuation orders on some of the blazes, including the damaging White Rock Lake wildfire, have been partially downgraded to alerts and residents in certain areas are allowed to return home.

Others, including the more than 70 who lost homes Sunday night as the White Rock Lake blaze reached the northwest shore of Okanagan Lake, are still waiting to get a good look at what remains of their properties.

The Forests Ministry says nearly 270 wildfires are burning in all corners of the province and almost 8,500 square kilometres of land has been charred since the start of the fire season, an estimated increase of nearly 400 square kilometres in just 24 hours.

Environment Canada is calling for possible thundershowers over parts of the southern Interior today, with rain and much cooler temperatures expected over most of the region by the weekend, but the wildfire service says a long period of drenching rain is needed.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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