Two major wildfires in B.C.'s southern Interior now classified as 'being held'

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Two major wildfires in B.C.'s southern Interior now classified as 'being held'

VANCOUVER — Two of the largest wildfires in British Columbia are now classified as "being held" after weeks of burning out of control and forcing people out of their homes.

The BC Wildfire Service says the nearly 900-square-kilometre Sparks Lake fire burning north of Kamloops Lake and east of Cache Creek is being held as of Thursday, meaning suppression has been sufficient to ensure the blaze is not likely to spread beyond its boundaries under current and forecasted conditions.

The 635-square-kilometre Tremont Creek blaze burning south of Kamloops Lake just outside Ashcroft is also being held and the service says structure protection resources are being removed in areas that are no longer at risk.

Elsewhere, the service says wind fanned the eight-square-kilometre Mt. Law fire near West Kelowna late Wednesday and it remains classified as out of control.

The wildfire service says crews are also working to extinguish "deep burning fuels" persistent throughout the eastern flank of the destructive White Rock Lake fire that's still classified as burning out of control west of Okanagan Lake.

There are about 240 active wildfires in B.C., with 22 considered fires of note, meaning they are either highly visible or pose a potential threat to public safety.

Emergency Management BC says in a statement more than 3,400 firefighters from B.C. and more than 400 from out-of-province were helping fight the fires.

The province had about 45 evacuation orders and 90 evacuation alerts in place, which means people should be ready to leave at short notice.

Environment Canada forecasts cooler temperatures with the mercury remaining below 20 C with cloudy conditions or light rain across most of the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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