B.C. calls in extra help to deal with growing wildfire situation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. calls in extra help to deal with growing wildfire situation

A new wildfire — one of many in the province right now — burns within the City of Merritt Aug. 2, 2018.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Service
August 03, 2018 - 8:38 AM

With more than 450 fires burning across the B.C. right now, extra resources are being brought in from outside the province.

Much of the fire activity has been driven by intense lightning storms this week that have sparked numerous fires in a short period of time.

As a result, for the first time in 2018, the B.C. Wildfire Service has reached a Provincial Preparedness Level of 4, meaning that the province is experiencing a high level of fire activity and multiple fire starts and will require assistance from outside of B.C. to continue managing the situation.

“We are actively monitoring the amount and type of resources required to respond to this situation,” B.C. Wildfire says in a Facebook post. “To ensure we can maintain our capacity, the B.C. Wildfire Service is currently requesting resources from elsewhere in Canada and internationally to assist with the wildfire situation.”

Spokeswoman Kyla Fraser says the weather has crews bracing for new wildfires expected this weekend, but despite the high level of active fires, none are threatening any communities.

Strong overnight winds in southern B.C. caused a spot fire to jump the Similkameen River, ahead of a 65-square-kilometre blaze burning near Keremeos, but Fraser says crews responded quickly and the spot fire is not a risk to nearby homes.

Several fires in southeastern B.C. have forced an evacuation in Kootenay National Park and the indefinite closure of Highway 93 between Radium and the Alberta boundary.

For more stories on the B.C. wildfire situation, go here.

For a map of actively burning fires, go here.

Check for areas affected by evacuation alerts and orders here.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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