August 9, 2018 3:23 pm
Updated: August 9, 2018 9:18 pm

Huge wildfires in Northern B.C. merge into one blaze of 28,000 hectares

WATCH: Smoke from B.C. wildfires is blanketing provinces all the way to western Ontario. It's prompting air quality and health advisories, warning those with chronic breathing problems, to stay inside. Reid Fiest reports.

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Two huge wildfires burning in northern B.C. have now merged into one massive blaze of 28,000 hectares.

The Alkali Lake fire has merged with the South Stikine River fire burning near the community of Telegraph Creek, and at the edge of Mount Edziza Provincial Park and Stikine River Provincial Park.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

More than 100 firefighters, along with helicopters and heavy equipment, were on scene battling the huge blaze on Thursday.

It is believed the two fires were caused by lightning.

The Alkali Lake wildfire as seen from the air. Courtesy of the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The wildfires have forced the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine to declare a local state of emergency.

Before the merge, the fires had already forced the evacuation of Telegraph Creek and the surrounding areas.

Dozens of structures have already been lost in Telegraph Creek but officials cannot confirm if those structures include homes.

WATCH: Dramatic images of Telegraph Creek wildfire

Residents fled to Dease Lake and other small communities nearby. Residents in Terrace have been organizing donations through Facebook to help the evacuees with everything they need.

There are 465 wildfires burning across B.C. with the fire danger rating now at ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ in virtually every part of the province.

There are 27 ‘wildfires of note’ burning around B.C.

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