July 14, 2018 7:39 pm

11 new wildfires spring up, as fire danger rating worsens across B.C.

The wildfire burning in Kamloops Thursday afternoon.

Eryn Bulmer Barrett Twitter

As much of B.C. blisters under a heat wave, wildfire officials say they’re seeing an uptick in fire activity.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, 11 new fires have sprung up across the province since Friday.

At least six of the fires are believed to be human-caused.

READ MORE: Fire crews on high alert across B.C. as Kamloops wildfire still smoldering

Crews also continue to battle the 500-hectare East Shuswap Road wildfire east of Kamloops, which remains classified as “out of control.”

WATCH: Crews fight growing wildfire near Kamloops

Several homes remain under an evacuation alert due to that fire.

Fire information officer Claire Allen says strong, gusty winds over the last 24 hours haven’t helped.

“Certainly that does challenge any wildfire suppression efforts that we do have going on, and that specifically is challenged by the hot temperatures we’re seeing, especially across the southern half of British Columbia,” she said.

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Allen said there doesn’t appear to be much relief in sight, as far as the long-range forecast goes.

“For the next week [it] isn’t looking like we have a whole lot of reprieve coming in terms of precipitation or cooler temperatures for at least the next week, and perhaps beyond that as well,” she said.

READ MORE: Wildfire in east Kamloops mapped at 500 hectares

The fire danger rating across much of the province has been upgraded to at least “moderate,” with large pockets of “high” and a few areas of “extreme” along B.C.’s southern border.

WATCH: Wildfire danger rating on the rise in British Columbia

No campfire bans are in place yet, but Allen said with the rising fire danger rating, officials are reminding people to be extra careful around any open flame.

READ MORE: Kamloops man says fire investigators looking into contract work as cause of massive blaze

“If they are going out, make sure they have a hand tool, ample water, and ample personnel on hand just to make sure they protect our forests and backcountry,” she said.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, there were 61 fires burning across the province on Saturday, about half of them lightning-caused and at least 18 of them human-caused.

The Prince George Fire Centre has seen the worst flare-ups, with 29 fires currently active. There are 14 burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, seven in the Northwest Fire Centre and six in the Coastal Fire Centre.

There have been 640 fires which have burned about 51,700 hectares since April 1, 2018.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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