The BC government has issued an update on the wildfires raging around the province.
Forests Minister John Rustad told a news conference, there was 142 new fires on Friday, many a result of dry lightning
At last report, 182 fires were actively burning in BC.
“The situation has escalated. It is a serious situation and the province is bringing to bear all the resources that we have available,” says Rustad.
Photo of fire north of Williams Lake (Twitter)
Rustad says there are a number of communities on evacuation alert, or that have been evacuated.
They include Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Princeton, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Canim Lake, Anahim Lake, Alexis Creek First Nation, Alexander First Nation and Williams Lake First Nation.
Rustad says the latest estimate they have on evacuations is 3,000 households.
“Many of those have been evacuated to Kamloops or to the Williams Lake Centre, and some have also been evacuated to Prince George.”
Rustad says about 1,600 personnel are fighting the fires.
“We are expecting additional resources to come in from other provinces including additional water bombers and personnel to help spell off our firefighters, to make sure they get some rest time.”
The province remains under a state of emergency which was declared Friday night.
“The fire situation continues to be very difficult with fires that are very challenging to attack because of the intensity and nature of the activity.”
Rustad says the main goal is to protect life, followed by protecting key infrastructure like roads, hydro and people’s homes.
The minister was not aware of how many homes or other structures have been destroyed.
The latest fire size estimates are 4,000 hectares for Ashcroft, 200 hec. for one 10 km north east of Princeton, 500 hec. for Dragon Mountain 25 km’s south east of Quesnel, 1,500 hec. for the Gustafsen near 100 Mile House, and 1,000 hec. for the one north of the Williams Lake airport.