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B.C. asks for wildfire help

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Wildfires are tearing through the Red Deer Creek areas of northeastern B.C. (HANDOUT)

Wildfires are tearing through the Red Deer Creek areas of northeastern B.C. (HANDOUT)

British Columbia has been lit up by fires this week with about 15 “fires of note” burning throughout the province as of Thursday afternoon.

The latest fire hit Thursday afternoon in the district of West Kelowna where approximately 1,500 people were asked to leave their homes for their own safety after a blaze began in the Smith Creek area quickly grew to two hectares within hours, authorities said.

The largest of the notable fires is the Red Deer Creek fire about 60 kilometres to the southeast of Tumbler Ridge in the northern half of the province.

An evacuation order is still affecting 200 people in the area.

Meanwhile, the District of Hudson’s Hope placed an evacuation order on its entire municipality as the Mount McAllister fire in the region threatened homes.

The same fire has sparked an evacuation alert in nearby Moberly Lake and its surrounding area.

In the southern region of the province, a 200-hectare wildfire near Princeton that had 350 homes on evacuation alert and led to the evacuation from the area of 100 campers has eased up according to Hayes Creek fire chief Rob Miller.

“The wind’s turned north and it’s turned back on itself and there’s a three-km clearcut right there,” said Miller. “Thank God for logging.”

Wednesday the province requested the assistance of 70 personnel from outside of the province to assist in fighting the wildfires, which are the worst the province has seen in recent years.

“Hot and dry weather conditions have elevated the fire danger rating throughout the province and most of B.C. is currently experiencing a ‘high- to-extreme’ fire danger rating,” said the ministry of forests in a release. 

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