Destructive White Rock Lake wildfire in B.C. Interior being held

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VERNON, B.C. — One of the largest and most destructive wildfires in British Columbia this summer was being held on Friday, meaning it was not likely to spread beyond its existing containment lines.

The provincial wildfire service says hundreds of personnel continued to extinguish hot spots around the perimeter of the 833-square-kilometre White Rock Lake fire.

The emergency operations centre for the central Okanagan has said at least 78 properties west of Okanagan Lake sustained significant damage, in addition to properties destroyed in Monte Lake and Westwold on the fire's opposite flank.

The number of properties on evacuation order across the province has dropped by 1,384 as residents forced to flee the White Rock Lake fire were allowed to go home.

The B.C. government says 1,182 properties remained on evacuation order Thursday night, while residents of another 4,691 properties were told to be on alert and ready to leave on short notice.

The province says more than 1,560 wildfires have scorched about 8,650 square kilometres of land since April 1, far above the 10-year average.

There were 215 wildfires burning across B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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