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Ontario crews coming to support B.C. firefighters

The fire continues to burn near Wapiti Lake.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire
July 11, 2014 - 4:51 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Specialized fire crews from Ontario will come to Kamloops on Sunday to support provincial crews during an elevated wildfire risk.

"Because of this extended stretch of hot and dry weather, we're asking for additional assistance from Ontario,” Minister Steve Thomson said in a media release.

The support workers will initially station in Kamloops. Personnel will be deployed to one of the six fire centres depending on fire starts.

B.C. Wildfire members will be extra vigilant this weekend as hot and dry weather conditions are likely to persist.

There's a thunderstorm threat which could bring lightning to the southwest part of the province.

Risk ratings are currently moderate to high across the province with some areas rated as extreme.

Campfires are still permitted for now. The branch is urging campers to ensure fires are monitored and extinguished properly.

The biggest forest fire in B.C. is burning near Tumbler Ridge and has scorched 4,500 hectares and continues to threaten a pair of gas industry work camps.

Fire information officer Jillian Kelsh says they had estimated the fire size at 5,000 ha but due to inaccurate mapping they've revised the estimate to 4,500.

About 120 firefighters are battling the blaze alongside an incident management team, ten pieces of equipment and five helicopters.

Smoke from the blaze has caused hazy skies in the Southern Interior off and on over the past few days.

Currently the wildfire risk rating across the province is moderate to high, yet there are designated extreme risk areas. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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