A rising heat wave and significant winds across the southern half of British Columbia helped ignite 11 new wildfires across the province over 24 hours.
Claire Allen of the BC Wildfire Service said that of those fires, six were human-caused, one was started by lightning, and the remaining four are still under investigation.
She said the province is unlikely to get a reprieve, with no rain or cooler temperatures in the long-term forecast.
“We have approximately 60 fires burning across the province right now,” said Allen.
Allen said B.C. is in the core of its wildfire season, which typically runs from April 1 until the end of September or early October.
Crews have been battling a 500-hundred hectare fire near Kamloops since Thursday. Jody Lucius with the B.C. Wildfire Service in Kamloops said they have 89 crew members, four heavy machines and four helicopters actively fighting the blaze.
“We haven’t seen any substantial growth, which is a good sign, and crews are continuing to extinguish hot spots within about a hundred feet of the fire’s perimeter,” said Lucius.
Lucius said crews are working to reinforce the fireguard and keep the existing blaze away from more fuel through controlled burning.
Vacationers heading towards 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, the wildfires service said.
Allen said anyone camping or using camp or cooking fires in the open should take extreme caution and follow all regional regulations.
The Canadian Press