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Wildfires in B.C. prompt evacuation alerts

WATCH: Lightning strikes spark more wildfires in B.C., as parts of the province continue to swelter in a heatwave. John Hua reports

Lightning storms in many parts of the province over the weekend have escalated the wildfire situation.

There were 62 new fires started on Saturday and Sunday – 36 of those started in the last 24 hours. Officials estimate 50 of the 62 new fires were lightning-caused.

There are now a total of 123 active fires in B.C. with three of note.

WATCH: Raw video from the Mount Bigfoot fire

The Petitot River fire has prompted an evacuation alert for 15 people, including workers at the Wildboy gas plant. The fire is zero per cent contained and is currently about 3,332 hectares in size. Two helicopters are also helping fight the blaze.

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evacuation-alert-Fort-Nelson

The Mount Bigfoot fire is burning about 90 kilometers southeast of Fort Nelson. It is currently zero per cent contained and is estimated to be 415 hectares in size. One structure is threatened at this time and crews  have set up fire retardent and sprinkler systems.

READ MORE: Full fire coverage in B.C.

Eleven kilometres north of Rock Creek, on the Crowsnest Highway 3, between Osoyoos and Greenwood, the Westbridge fire is currently burning. Ten people are under evacuation alert and 21 firefighters, two helicopters and one airtanker are currently working to fight the fire, which is now estimated to be 26 hectares.

All three fires are believed to have been caused by lightning.

Report a fire to *5555 on your cellphone or call 1-800-663-5555.

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WATCH: Fire information officer Kelsey Winter joins Sonia Sunger to talk about the current wildfire situation:

The Little Bobtail Lake fire, which is still burning about 70 kilometres southwest of Prince George, is 100 per cent contained but crews are asking residents to stay away from the area while they manage the blaze. The fire is still 25,569 hectares.

The Elaho fire, burning 67 km west of Pemberton, is 611 hectares in size and is 45 per cent contained. This fire is in very steep and inaccessible terrain, in thick forest. Ninety firefighters are still battling the blaze.

The Cisco Road fire, which is still burning south of Lytton, has grown to 2,174 hectares but it is 70 per cent contained. The hot and dry weather this weekend did increase fire activity on the north side, which is why smoke was again visible from Highway 1, Lytton and surrounding communities.

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