KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Hot, dry conditions, gusty winds and a chance of lightning are expected to keep wildfire crews in British Columbia watchful this weekend.
RCMP talk with travellers along the highway road block just outside of Cache Creek, B.C., on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Residents were allowed back into their homes after being evacuated over10 days ago due to wildfires. The area is still blanketed with thick smoke from the wildfires burning in the Interior of the Province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
The BC Wildfire Service said its weather forecasters have issued a wind warning for the fire-weary Cariboo Fire Centre, but no significant growth was reported early Friday on any area blazes.
Wildfire service chief information officer Kevin Skrepnek said almost 150 fires are burning in the province and communities will continue to be endangered without significant rain.
The service’s website shows 11 new fires broke out Thursday, seven sparked by lightning, two believed to be human-caused and two others undetermined.
Conditions also prompted expansion of an evacuation order for some homes in a remote area west of Quesnel. Orders were still in effect for some properties outside Williams Lake, and others around fires near Monte Lake, east of Kamloops, and north of Cache Creek.
Officials said smoke must clear before growth of the blaze north of Cache Creek and east of Clinton can be accurately determined, but the wildfire service website estimates it at 680 square kilometres, with dozens of homes lost between Boston Flats and Loon Lake.
Near Monte Lake, 50 kilometres east of Kamloops, a young couple with two children confirms their home was destroyed when a quickly moving wildfire broke out late Wednesday afternoon.
Relatives of the family say they were away from home and had no opportunity to grab important papers or other items before flames raced up Martin Mountain.