B.C. wildfire status Monday: Extreme fire behaviour warning

Direct suppression on the north line of the Verdant Creek wildfire.
Direct suppression on the north line of the Verdant Creek wildfire. Parks Canada

Fire officials are warning about extreme fire behaviour in the province with numerous wildfires growing on the weekend and the situation showing no sign of slowing down.

Lightning strikes sparked 28 new fires across B.C. this weekend, bringing the total number of fires burning to 163.

The largest blaze burning in B.C. right now is the Hanceville Riske Creek fire. It’s more than 190,000 hectares in size.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says high winds have led to extremely aggressive fire behaviour around this wildfire and several other fires in the Cariboo region.

MAP: Where the wildfires are burning around B.C.

The growth in wildfires also sparked new evacuation orders and alerts this weekend.

Evacuation orders are in place for more than 550 people near Canin Lake and Hawkins Lake. Residents east of Tatla Lake to west of Alexis Creek are also being warned to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice if their alert is upgraded to an order.

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The second-largest fire in the province, the Elephant Hill wildfire, is also prompting more evacuation orders in the interior.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has now issued an order for the Bonaparte and Criss Creek Area residents to evacuate while several more communities are watching the skies today in hopes of some reprieve in the weather.

This fire is estimated to be 149,000 hectares in size and is growing as it has spread north to Green Lake and east to Denman Valley in the last 48 hours.

WATCH: The ongoing wildfire threat has forced the closure of the backcountry on crown land in the Cariboo. Jennifer Palma reports.

Click to play video: 'The backcountry in the Cariboo is closed due to the wildfire threat.'
The backcountry in the Cariboo is closed due to the wildfire threat.

Global News meteorologist Yvonne Schalle says the cooler front swept through the province on the weekend but along with cooler temperatures came lightning strikes.

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“We did see some instability and the risk of thunderstorms, but in behind it is a cooler day today,” she says. “The one area of concern, though, we are going to see that instability once again, risk of a thunderstorm throughout the day today, will be for the Columbia and Kootenay regions.”

Temperatures will begin to heat up again heading into the weekend.

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