July 9, 2017 11:34 am
Updated: July 10, 2017 4:56 pm

B.C. wildfire status live updates: 218 fires, almost 14,000 evacuees

Wildfires in Kamloops, British Columbia continue but favourable weather conditions making them easier to fight. Paul Johnson reports.


(Check liveblog at bottom of story for latest updates)

Ground and air crews were fighting 218 wildfires across B.C. Monday as almost 14,000 people were forced to flee flames that have terrified several communities, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

On Saturday, nearly 100 new fires sprang up and the province has been marshalling all the personnel it can to battle the flames, protect property and keep people safe. Twenty-nine new fires were sparked on Sunday.

WATCH: Map of fires burning around B.C.

More than 1,000 government and hundreds of contract firefighters are on the scene, supported by heavy equipment and helicopters.

The province is still in a state of emergency and there may be no relief in sight as conditions in parts of B.C. stay tinder dry and winds threaten to stoke a number of existing fires.

The B.C. Wildfire Service provided an update on Sunday afternoon:

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

Fires have forced thousands of people from their homes in the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 100 Mile House, 105 Mile House, 108 Mile House, 150 Mile House and the Alexis Creek area.

WATCH: Christy Clark announces $100M to support wildfire evacuees

Fire hazard has also led to the closure of provincial parks.

WATCH: Williams Lake evacuees sent to Prince George

More evacuation orders and alerts came in overnight, including in Williams Lake where several fires continue to burn out of control.

The communities of Alexis Creek and Hanceville along Highway 20, as well as the Lexington subdivision, between Williams Lake and 150 Mile House, have been evacuated. There are also reports that some houses on Lexington Road have been destroyed.

There are also fires in Wildwood, Spokin Lake and 150 Mile House.

WATCH: The wildfires in British Columbia have gone from bad to worse

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Fires in the Cariboo region have forced the railway near Quesnel to be closed, which affected the Rocky Mountaineer train that had been scheduled to travel through the area on Sunday, said Gord Miller, the Mountaineer’s VP fo rail operations.

People who were expected to travel will be taken by coach from Vancouver to Jasper on Monday.

Trains travelling on main lines between Vancouver and Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper, via Kamloops, are operating as normal, Miller said.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Wildfires burning around B.C.

Near 100 Mile House, the Gustafsen wildfire covered 5,000 hectares as of Monday and could keep growing. The fire has forced evacuations, including the entire community of 100 Mile House.

“The wind is picking up,” fire information officer Heather Rice said. “Worst-case scenarios are strong winds, gusty winds coming from the west or from the east.”

WATCH: B.C. wildfires: Extreme fire risk in Kamloops as evacuees seek shelter

More than 60 firefighters will be back on scene in Princeton Sunday to fight a fire that has now scorched at least 1,500 hectares.

Efforts to scale back the fire on Saturday were hampered by thick smoke blanketing the area. Officials aren’t sure how many properties have burned down but the fire is still about 10 kilometres from the town of Princeton. Residents in the area have been told they may have to leave at a moment’s notice.

One of the biggest and fiercest wildfires is burning near Ashcroft and Cache Creek.

The fire exploded on Friday, growing to more than 4,000 hectares in size. Several properties are thought to be lost in Ashcroft, including almost half of the properties on the Ashcroft Reserve.

READ MORE: ‘Driving through a little slice of hell’: B.C. residents post video driving fuel through Williams Lake wildfire

Fire has also prompted evacuation orders for the entire village of Cache Creek. Fourteen more properties on Scottie Creek Road were also ordered out Saturday night. All 30 trailers in the Boston Flats mobile home park have also been decimated.

Cliff Chapman, the deputy manager at the Kamloops Fire Centre, suggested Saturday was a day he’d never forget.

“I’ve been in this business for 17 years, from crew all the way up to where I am now, and I haven’t experienced a day like we experienced yesterday,” he said.

– With files from The Canadian Press, CKNW

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

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