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B.C. wildfire status Thursday: wildfires grow, putting communities on edge

Click to play video: 'Elephant Hill wildfire breaks fire guard and grows' Elephant Hill wildfire breaks fire guard and grows
Thu, Jul 27: Footage of the Elephant Hill wildfire shows the flames are not slowing down – Jul 27, 2017

Wildfires continue to wreak havoc in the B.C. interior and more people have been forced to flee their homes.

LISTEN:  Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek talks to CKNW reporter Emily Lazatin

A rapidly moving fire near Monte Lake, east of Kamloops, forced two evacuation orders Wednesday night covering 60 properties, and prompted the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to declare a local state of emergency. A further 58 properties are under an evacuation alert.

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The wildfire, burning along Highway 97, has now grown to more than 150 hectares. It was spotted Wednesday afternoon and is still threatening homes but has calmed down since Wednesday.

Officials have not confirmed what started the fire. Highway 97 between Monte Lake and Falkland remains closed at this time.

FULL COVERAGE: Wildfires burning around B.C.

Williams Lake

The evacuation order for Williams Lake was lifted Thursday, almost two weeks after residents were forced to leave their homes.

The town is still on alert, however, and some orders do remain in place. Find all the details here.

Elephant Hill wildfire

It will be another nervous day for the residents of Clinton as unpredictable weather fuels the Elephant Hill wildfire.

High winds and hot, dry conditions fueled the now 65,000-hectare fire and it broke containment lines on Wednesday.

Some people in Clinton have already been ordered to leave the area, while others have been on alert for nearly three weeks.

“There’s a lot of tension, a lot of stress,” said one resident who is on alert in Clinton.

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There are still 300 firefighters on the front lines in the region, building fuel breaks and trying to protect homes.

On Thursday morning, fire officials said crews had some success overnight and the winds died down, which was good news.

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Skimmers collecting water from Green Lake fighting the new fire near the Green Lake - Pressy Lake FSR. Credit: Al Leonard.
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Skimmers collecting water from Green Lake fighting the new fire near the Green Lake - Pressy Lake FSR. Credit: Al Leonard.
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Skimmers collecting water from Green Lake fighting the new fire near the Green Lake - Pressy Lake FSR. Credit: Al Leonard.
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Skimmers collecting water from Green Lake fighting the new fire near the Green Lake - Pressy Lake FSR. Credit: Al Leonard.
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Skimmers collecting water from Green Lake fighting the new fire near the Green Lake - Pressy Lake FSR. Credit: Al Leonard.

READ MORE: New drone footage shows homes destroyed in Loon Lake due to wildfire

LISTEN: CKNW’s Jon McComb talks with Australian firefighters about coming to help with the wildfires

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A very busy few days ahead

The B.C. Wildfire Service says it is preparing for a very busy few days ahead and it is expecting a number of new fires to start.

The weather will not be helping matters.

Global BC meteorologist Yvonne Schalle says today there is still the chance of an isolated thunderstorm in the central interior.

“The Columbia and Kootenay region though, late in the day, especially for the southern interior, the winds [will gust] anywhere between 20 and 40 km/h,” she said.

“We are not seeing any reprieve for our temperatures as it is warming up for the southern interior. Temperatures into the 30s can be expected.”

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