July 15, 2017 1:18 pm
Updated: July 15, 2017 2:47 pm

B.C. braces for strong winds as wildfire rages across province

A wildfire burns on a mountain in the distance east of Cache Creek behind a house in Boston Flats, B.C., in the early morning hours of Monday July 10, 2017.

The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck
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Officials in British Columbia are preparing for the possibility of strong winds this weekend, which could worsen wildfire conditions across the province.

Late Friday night, it was reported that there are 167 wildfires burning across B.C. Environment Canada has the lastest public weather alerts for British Columbia here.

Currently, the hardest hit area is the Cariboo Region, where thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

For many people, these wildfires are a reminder of what people in Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta faced last year.

READ MORE: ‘Fort McMurray has your back’: Residents offer advice to B.C. evacuees

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“What we saw with Fort McMurray, we’re also seeing some incredible stories here in B.C. of people really going above and beyond,” said Maya Lange, vice president of Global Marketing, at Destination B.C. “The communities rally together, and are really going out and helping each other through this.”

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires: A tale of two neighbours

On Saturday, Lange joined Peter Watts on The Alberta Morning News.

“Our thoughts are with those who are impacted, and our first priority is to ensure people are safe and know where to find the information,” she said.

However, she doesn’t want to see people cancel their B.C. travel plans altogether.

“There are plenty of areas in the province that are, you know, very much open for business in terms of travel and tourism,” said Lange. “[Our main message is, we want] our Albertan friends to come visit British Columbia, but just get the information before you come and make sure that you’re travelling to the safe areas.”

Part of knowing where, and where not to travel is pre-planning.

“Probably, the first thing that I suggest is actually, if you’ve already booked accommodation or an attraction, is to contact them and to find out directly from those businesses if they have any key messages, [or if they’re in an area that’s been impacted,]” said Lange.

Here are some websites you can visit to find the information you may need:

http://www.drivebc.com/mobile/webcams/index.html

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

https://www.hellobc.com/default.aspx?CC=US

Lange said people who travel to B.C. can enjoy some great sites and experiences.

Watts asked which areas in the province are safe, and what attractions are operating as per normal. Her list of places includes: Invermere, Panorama, Kimberley, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Vancouver Island and Whistler.

LISTEN: Maya Lange, vice president of Global Marketing, at Destination B.C.

With files from Amy Judd. 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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