More homes in B.C.’s Southern Interior were placed under an evacuation order Sunday, as crews continued to fight more than 170 wildfires around the province.
BC Wildfire Service director of regional operations Cliff Chapman said Sunday that the province was expecting just under 100 out of province firefighters to arrive on Monday.
“We’re working to get them into Abbotsford and supported in Chilliwack from Fraser Health to make sure that they are getting rapid COVID tested before we actually launch them into the province,” Chapman said.
Those firefighters will come from Ontario and New Brunswick.
The federal government has also moved 350 Canadian Forces personnel to Edmonton to potentially support B.C.’s firefighting efforts, he said. Military air resources could be in the province by the end of the week.
Earlier Sunday, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District said the issued a new evacuation order, related to the Sparks Lake fire, to a handful of additional properties in Electoral Area “J” (Copper Desert Country).
The fire, among the largest in the province, has grown again to 36,300 hectares, and the BC Wildfire Service said it had begun to move onto the northeast edge of the Skeetchestn Band’s Reserve lands.
The TNRD had already issued evacuation orders for about 163 properties, while the Skeetchestn Band has evacuated reserves IR0 and IR1.
North of Lillooet, residents in the Pavilion and West Pavilion areas were also ordered to evacuate their homes, just hours after a previous evacuation order was downgraded to an evacuation alert.
Those evacuations were in relation to the 23,699-hectare McKay Creek Fire.
Of the fires burning in B.C. Sunday, 125 were the result of lightning strikes, and 26 had started within the last 48 hours.
Crews were battling 13 “fires of note”— blazes that are highly visible or pose a possible threat to lives or property.