Firefighters from Mexico set to head home after battling wildfires in B.C.

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia's wildfire service says firefighters from Mexico will begin heading home this weekend after battling blazes since late July.

Ninety-eight firefighters and three support staff arrived from Mexico on July 24 as hundreds of wildfires flared and drought conditions gripped much of the southern half of the province.

The wildfire service says the team worked on several fires in the Okanagan, including the Nk'Mip blaze that broke out July 19 north of Osoyoos and grew to nearly 200 square kilometres before being contained.

A statement from the wildfire service offers a "heartfelt thank you" to the Mexican team, saying their work has been "invaluable to all British Columbians affected by wildfire."

The government says 209 wildfires were burning on Wednesday night and nearly 8,700 square kilometres of land had been scorched since the start of the season, but there were no new fire starts in the previous two days.

Just five fires remained listed as highly visible or potentially threatening, down from more than 40 in August, and 243 properties were under evacuation orders, compared with roughly 6,600 that were under evacuation at the same time last month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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