Rain reduces wildfire danger in British Columbia, but relief shouldn’t last

British Columbia’s wildfire danger map shows low to moderate fire risk across much of the province after a rainy weekend, but extreme risk is expected to pick up quickly with the onset of a another heat wave.

The Forestry Ministry says around 270 forest fires are currently burning, most in the southern interior, with just eight ignited in the past two days.

One of the most worrying remains the White Rock Lake fire between Kamloops and Okanagan Lake, which burned nearly 560 square kilometers, destroyed properties east of Kamloops and forced thousands from their homes.

It is burning in one of two areas of British Columbia still classified as high to extreme wildfire risk, but a wet weekend reduced the risk of embers on Okanagan Lake, allowing Vernon to lift his evacuation alert, although orders or alerts from three regional districts, two communities and two First Nations are still in place.

The mayor of Chase, a village threatened by the northern flank of the blaze, said in a statement that gusts of wind are expected in the area on Monday, while a spokesperson for the fire department said the forecast weather for later this week could mean the return of aggressive activity. .

The province says nearly 6,600 properties remain on evacuation orders across British Columbia, while residents of more than 32,000 properties have been told to be ready to leave on short notice.

Anyone placed under an evacuation order must leave the area immediately.

Evacuation centers have been set up across the province to help anyone evacuated from a community threatened by a forest fire. To find the center closest to you, visit Emergency management BC. website.

Evacuees are encouraged to register with Emergency support services online, whether or not they access the services of an evacuation center.

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