British Columbia on wildfire alert - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

British Columbia on wildfire alert

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Photo: Kelowna.com Photo: Kelowna.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia. - More than 85 percent of British Columbia remains on high alert as lighting strikes and tinder-dry forests continue to fuel wildfires on Canada's pacific coast.

According to the Associated Press, almost 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as fires approach, mostly in the province's arid central interior.

British Columbia Forest Service spokeswoman Alyson Couch said Monday conditions are hot and dry. She says extra firefighters from across Canada, and some for Australia, are joining those already in the forests.

From April to now, 2,200 fires have torched 170,171 acres compared to 1,066 that burned 27,170 acres last year. Provincial Premier Gordon Campbell says the wildfire risk is at the highest level in recent memory. The province has endured a heat wave for several weeks.

Heavy smoke and ash have been visible in Eastern Washington and North Idaho due to the Terrace Mountain fire burning in Kelowna, British Columbia. Several people in those areas have reported seeing and smelling heavy smoke and ash, prompting them to contact law enforcement concerned there may be a fire in their area.

According to Kelowna.com, the Terrace Mountain fire, now nearly 19,000 acres in size, is responsible for 2,500 evacuations alone. The web site also reports that 102 new fires broke out Sunday.

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