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Province to update wildfire, drought in B.C., as new heat wave approaches

VANCOUVER — Wildfire crews across British Columbia are keeping a close eye on the backcountry after recent lightning storms raised the potential for smouldering fires to erupt as the next hot spell arrives this weekend.

Less than five millimetres of rain fell in parts of southern and southeastern B.C., where wildfire danger ranges from moderate to extreme and several blazes have resulted in evacuations or evacuation alerts.

That includes two separate, nearly month-old wildfires on the east and west sides of Adams Lake, north of Chase, but the B.C. Wildfire Service says although evacuation orders from both fires still cover about 100 properties, power has now been restored to the evacuated area on the east side of the lake.

West of Lillooet, evacuation orders have ended for the Seton Portage and Shalath areas along Anderson and Seton lakes as crews make headway on the 46-square kilometre Casper Creek wildfire, which has destroyed one property since it was sparked on July 11.

In northern B.C., heavy rain means the nearly 6,000 square kilometre Donnie Creek blaze, the province’s largest-ever wildfire, is no longer listed as a fire of note, but the wildfire service says it remains ranked as out of control.

It’s one of roughly 400 fires burning across B.C., including about 200 considered by the wildfire service to be out of control, while 12, such as the fires at Adams Lake and west of Lillooet, are listed as fires of note, meaning they remain threatening or highly visible.

Emergency management, wildfire experts and other B.C. officials are set to provide an update on the fire and drought situations facing the province as well as another heat wave, due to raise temperatures to the high 30s in several regions by next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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