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Weekend thunderstorms cause surge in fire activity: What you need to know about B.C. wildfires for Aug. 8 | CBC News

The latest on the wildfires:

  • The number of active wildfires burning in B.C. has risen to more than 400 after weekend thunderstorms.
  • Dozens more properties are on evacuation alert because of the wildfires near Adams Lake, northeast of Kamloops, B.C.
  • A smoky skies bulletin remains in effect for Nelson, the central and southern Interior and southeastern B.C. 
  • Evacuation orders remain in place across B.C., including at Adams Lake and Gun Lake, and north of Lytton.
  • After a month, the state of emergency in the Stikine region in B.C.’s northwest ended over the weekend.
  • As of 6 a.m. PT, there are currently 416 active fires in B.C., with 16 fires of note — fires that are highly visible or threatening public safety.
  • Learn more about how to find the full list of wildfires, highway closures and evacuation orders and alerts.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says thunderstorms over the long weekend caused a spike in fire activity across the province, pushing the total number of active wildfires past 400.

The service said there were 416 active fires as of Tuesday, including 34 new starts in the past 24 hours. Sixteen of the total are fires of note.

“At this time of year, it’s pretty typical to see an increase in starts like that over a short period of time, just given we’re seeing lots of lightning activity across the province,” said fire information officer Erika Berg.

“Fire season isn’t over yet, that’s for sure.”

The Prince George Fire Centre, which roughly spans the province’s northeast quarter, still has the most fires at 143, followed by the Southeast Fire Centre at 86, the Northwest at 75, the Kamloops and Coastal Fire Centres at 43 and the Cariboo at 26.

The largest wildfire recorded in provincial history, the Donnie Creek fire, now stands at 5,831 square kilometres in size — an area more than double the size of Metro Vancouver.

New evacuation alert near Adams Lake

As of Monday, more properties in the B.C. Interior are on evacuation alert due to wildfires near Adams Lake.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District said 85 addressed properties are on alert due to the Bush Creek East wildfire.

The regional district has also closed a boat launch to keep recreational boaters off the water so aircraft can work unimpeded as blazes burn on both sides of the lake. Conservation officers and the RCMP are patrolling to make sure boaters aren’t getting in the way.

Both the Thompson-Nicola and the Columbia Shuswap regional districts have evacuation orders in place for wildfires burning on opposite sides of Adams Lake — the Lower East Adams Lake and Bush Creek East fires.

WATCH | Wildfire in southern Interior leads to festival evacuation: 

Wildfire forces evacuation of music festival near Princeton, B.C.

A wildfire has forced hundreds of people to evacuate the Under the Stars Music Festival near Princeton, B.C. The fire sparked late Sunday night and is suspected to be human-caused.

Meanwhile, a wildfire burning near Princeton, B.C., forced the evacuation of a music festival attended as many as 1,000 people over the long weekend.

The Rice Road wildfire, roughly 11 kilometres northwest of Princeton, prompted RCMP and fire crews to evacuate the Under the Stars Music Festival on Sunday.

RCMP said the fire started Sunday when an ATV caught fire near the village of Coalmont, about 20 kilometres northwest of Princeton.

The service said the fire, which is less than a square kilometre in size, is visible from Princeton and surrounding areas but not threatening any buildings. Mounties said no one has been hurt.

“We are asking folks to be extremely careful with any activity that could spark a wildfire,” said Berg.

State of emergency rescinded for Stikine

In the northwest, the province ended the state of emergency for the sparsely populated Stikine region on Monday — rescinding all evacuation orders and alerts in the region as “people and structures are no longer at risk of wildfire.” 

The state of emergency had been in place for a month, with evacuation orders for areas affected by the Little Blue River wildfire.

Anyone placed under an evacuation order should leave the area immediately. 

Evacuation centres have been set up throughout the province to assist anyone evacuating from a community under threat from a wildfire.

To find the centre closest to you, visit the Emergency Management B.C. website.

Evacuees are encouraged to register with Emergency Support Services online, whether or not they access services at an evacuation centre.

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