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More than 3,000 wildfire officials battling flames as province braces for record-breaking heat

Click to play video: '3,449 wildfire personnel battling flames across B.C., as more flare-ups expected' 3,449 wildfire personnel battling flames across B.C., as more flare-ups expected
Minister Katrine Conroy said at Tuesday's wildfire update that much of British Columbia is dealing with severe drought and persistent winds. She said the province is using all of its resources but unfortunately the weather is expected to heat up again. – Aug 10, 2021

There are 3,449 wildfire personnel battling flames across B.C. and concerns are now turned to high temperatures expected over the coming days.

After a few days of cooler weather and some precipitation enabled crews to get a handle on some of the biggest fires, a heat warning has now been issued for some areas of southern B.C., while temperatures in the Interior could hit 40 C for the third time this summer.

So far, more than 650,000 hectares have burned this season, compared to the average of 140,000 hectares.

Click to play video: 'Falkland residents returning home as crews battle White Rock Lake fire' Falkland residents returning home as crews battle White Rock Lake fire
Falkland residents returning home as crews battle White Rock Lake fire – Aug 10, 2021

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said Tuesday that much of the province is dealing with severe drought and persistent winds.

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“We are using all our resources to fight these fires in the midst of a global pandemic,” she said.

Many crew members are working 14-hour days and 14 days in a row to fight the fire and there are concerns that another period of hot and dry weather will fuel fire activity.

Two hundred sixty fires are burning in B.C., six of which ignited in the last two days.

Read more: Heat warning issued for Metro Vancouver, other areas as temps expected to soar

The BC Wildfire Service said over the last 48 hours, large portions of the Southeast Fire Centre received a significant amount of rain, which bolstered the progress crews have made, including priority areas on wildfires of note.

There are still 31 fires of note burning in the province.

Click to play video: 'B.C. braces for long battle with more wildfires expected to flare up' B.C. braces for long battle with more wildfires expected to flare up
B.C. braces for long battle with more wildfires expected to flare up – Aug 9, 2021

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In some good news, over the last two days all evacuation orders that were in place in the vicinity of the Flat Lake wildfire, burning southwest of 100 Mile, have been downgraded to alerts.

Some alerts are also slowly being lifted.

As the temperatures rise, however, the risks will be greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and people working or exercising outdoors.

People are urged to drink plenty of water even before they feel thirsty and to stay in a cool place.

Check on older family, friends and neighbours and make sure they are cool and have drinking water.

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