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B.C. wildfire situation ‘still deteriorating,’ Williams Lake evacuated

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jul 11th, 2017

B.C. Hydro workers repair power lines that were damaged by wildfire as smoke and dirt blows in the air near Ashcroft, B.C., on July 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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 on Monday, and 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 on Monday night, with municipal officials warning wind and lightning in the forecast 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.

Related stories:

Rogers waives overage charges for B.C. wildfire evacuees
Wildfires in British Columbia Interior begin to exact economic toll
‘Bigger and better,’ family plans to rebuild after wildfire takes their home


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