B.C. wildfire situation ‘still deteriorating,’ official says

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The head of emergency management in British Columbia says the province’s wildfire situation will remain challenging for several weeks.

More than 200 fires burned across the province yesterday, but Bob Turner of Emergency Management BC says the situation is still deteriorating.

He says about 14,000 people have been evacuated and the government’s priority is keeping residents safe.

An evacuation alert was also issued for the more than 10,000 residents of Williams Lake last night, with municipal officials warning wind and lightning forecast for tomorrow could push fires towards the city at a “rapid pace.”

Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, says gusty winds and hot, dry conditions are expected to persist throughout the province over the next several days, meaning fire crews will not get a reprieve from the weather.

The fires, which have scorched about 400 square kilometres of land, are being fought by some 1,000 B.C. firefighters, with about 300 colleagues and support staff arriving from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.

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