Cooler temperatures offer slight relief for B.C. wildfire crews

·1 min read

Several evacuation orders have been downgraded as cooler temperatures and lighter winds offer a breather to wildfire crews in British Columbia.

The BC Wildfire Service says there are 250 wildfires burning across the province, but seven evacuation orders have been lifted.

The Kamloops region continues to see the majority of blazes, with the White Rock Lake fire continuing to burn out of control.

But some progress has been made against new fires, such as the first significant blaze of the season on Vancouver Island.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District declared a state of local emergency covering an area west of Ladysmith after a fire was sparked Thursday, but says the fire has been contained as of Friday night.

Evacuation orders and alerts are posted for many of the province's 30 highly visible or potentially life-threatening wildfires, but Environment Canada is calling for clouds, showers and daytime temperatures down to the mid-teens over the weekend in some areas of the southern Interior.

Evacuation orders were downgraded to an alert Friday for more than 650 homes in the Lower Nicola area, west of Merritt.

Residents were forced to leave their homes five days ago due to the Lytton Creek wildfire.

The nearby city of Merritt remains on an evacuation alert.

The Ministry of Forests says nearly 8,600 square kilometres has been burned by wildfires since the start of the fire season, and there are more than 3,600 firefighters battling blazes across the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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