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B.C. wildfire update Monday: More evacuations issued as wildfires rage over the weekend

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfire update: Race to protect Canim Lake homes, evacuation order near Ashcroft, smoke invades Alberta' B.C. wildfire update: Race to protect Canim Lake homes, evacuation order near Ashcroft, smoke invades Alberta
The B.C. wildfire situation is not slowing down and it's a race to protect homes in the Interior. An evacuation order southeast of Ashcroft has been triggered by the Tremont Creek blaze. And smoke from the B.C. wildfires is drifting into Alberta leading to hazy skies. – Jul 19, 2021

More evacuation orders and alerts were issued this weekend due to the wildfires raging around British Columbia.

There are 299 active fires in the province and 37 wildfires of note — that means they pose a threat to public safety and are highly visible.

Almost one-third of the fires are burning in the Kamloops region and about 70 per cent of the active wildfires have been sparked by lightning.

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There are currently 20 evacuation orders and another 51 evacuation alerts are in place around the province.

Some ranchers in the 100 Mile House area in the southern Cariboo are defying evacuation orders, trying to save what they can.

The nearby Flat Lake fire is now an estimated 14,000 hectares.

Keith Cunningham and his family have been working the land since the 1800s. They are using their own equipment and are getting help from neighbours to put out the flames.

The local MLA has even picked up a hose to help.

“We knew the winds were coming and we were going to have quite a little battle,” Cunningham said. “And, which ended up, we did. We did OK. We haven’t lost any structures.”

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The Canim Lake wildfire is also burning near 100 Mile House and is an estimated 2,343 hectares.

The Cariboo Regional District has issued an evacuation order for the south side of Canim Lake. The north side of Canim Lake remains on evacuation alert.

Water pumps and sprinklers have also been set up to soak homes and hopefully prevent them from catching fire.

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Southeast of Ashcroft the Tremont Creek Wildfire has forced the evacuation of 100 properties.

The Village of Ashcroft and the Ashcroft Indian Band have also issued evacuation alerts due to the fire.

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The wildfire is now an estimated 5,000 hectares.

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Smoke from the B.C. wildfires is also drifting into Alberta and there are hazy skies across much of the B.C. Interior.

Officials say anyone in the province who may have left their home because of the smoke should go back so they can make space in hotels for those forced out by the threat of a wildfire.

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Emergency Management BC said Sunday in many communities, accommodations are reaching capacity.

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It notes that since smoky conditions shift and move, self-evacuating to another community won’t guarantee a person’s exposure will be reduced.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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