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BC Wildfire Service issues warning about strong winds forecast and the danger to fires

Click to play video: 'BC Wildfire Service director on dangerous wind conditions and importance of being ready with an evacuation plan' BC Wildfire Service director on dangerous wind conditions and importance of being ready with an evacuation plan
WATCH: BC Wildfire service director of operations Cliff Chapman explains how big the province’s wildfire situation is, resources currently fighting those wildfires and the dangerous weather conditions coming in the forecast. He also explains why British Columbians should not ignoring evacuation orders: “I would be taking my family out if I was on an evacuation order.” – Jul 20, 2021

The BC Wildfire Service has issued a warning about strong winds forecast for the Interior, southern Interior and southeastern B.C. from Tuesday, July 20 to Thursday, July 22.

The weather is expected to exit late on Thursday, July 22.

The service said wind activity may “significantly impact fire growth in these regions.

“The rate of fire spread will likely increase, and the direction of fire growth may change quickly on some wildfires.”

The public is being asked to maintain awareness around the current wildfire situation and the service said the top priority for them will be human life and safety.

“People who remain in an area that is under an evacuation order may impede the ability of fire crews to fight a wildfire, because crews may be forced to stop fighting the fire to keep people out of harm’s way,” the service said in a statement.

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“People who decide to ‘wait and see’ if they need to evacuate an area may find their escape route blocked by fallen trees or abandoned vehicles, and familiar landmarks may be obscured by thick smoke.”

Read more: B.C. declares provincial state of emergency due to wildfires

Click to play video: 'B.C. declares a provincial state of emergency due to the wildfires' B.C. declares a provincial state of emergency due to the wildfires
B.C. declares a provincial state of emergency due to the wildfires – Jul 20, 2021

The Wildfire Service has numerous resources on its website to provide timely and accurate information.

Everyone is urged to prepare for potential evacuation alerts or evacuation orders, and develop a household evacuation plan, assemble an emergency kit and talk with neighbours.

A breakdown of the expected conditions

Kamloops Fire Centre

Tuesday, July 20: Kamloops, Lytton and the Okanagan will experience gusting winds up to 40 km/h in the afternoon.
Wednesday, July 21: The region will experience gusting winds up to 50 km/h.
Thursday, July 22: Forecasted winds could gust up to 40 km/h.

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Cariboo Fire Centre

Wednesday, July 21: Winds will begin to increase from west to southwest Wednesday afternoon, with speeds up to 45 km/h and higher gusts near thunderstorms.
Thursday, July 22: Forecasted winds could gust up to 40 km/h.

Southeast Fire Centre

Wednesday, July 21: Beginning in the evening, gusting winds of 50 to 70 km/h.
Thursday, July 22: Gusting winds of 50 to 70 km/h.

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