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Fire threat high as hot weather continues

The hot, dry weather just keeps driving up the forest fire risk in many areas of the province.

Fire crews working hard to contain wildfires now burning north-west of Mission — near Kamloops — and in the Okanagan, where 12 homes spent a big part of the day on evacuation alert.

At its height, the Okanagan Falls fire was a raging inferno stretching across an estimated 70 hectares.

Fueled by strong winds, it quickly spread through grass, sagebrush and timber.

Officials put 12 homes under evacuation alert.

The blaze, believed to be human caused,  was sparked on Sunday. Helicopter support was brought in, along with water tankers, and a crew of 45 fire fighters.

That heavy assault proved to be a good call.

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By Monday afternoon, the fire was 100 percent contained and the evacuation alert was lifted.

North of Kamloops Lake, the Fredericks fire quickly grew to 65 hectares — also fueled by high winds and extremely dry conditions.

Thirty-six fire fighters are on the scene of that blaze, which is now 95 percent contained and considered to be in the mop up stage.

“Fifty per cent of the fires in B.C. can be prevented in most cases,” says Forest Protection Officer Jim Mottishaw. “Some are truly accidental. It is just being super cautious…We want to make sure people think about hot sources that will start fires.”

On the South Coast, crews have been fighting a fire near the Stave Lake boat launch.

The large brush fire started Sunday and prompted officials to close a section of Burma Road.

It’s still undetermined what caused that fire, which consumed about 15 hectares.