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Rain, cooler weather could bring relief to B.C. wildfire crews as new fires start

Provincial wildfire count back above 400 active fires

Crews with the BC Wildfire Service faced a busy long weekend as the number of active wildfires in the province jumped above 400, including 34 reported Monday.

The wildfire service says more than 200 of those blazes remain out of control, including a small fire northwest of Princeton that was sparked by a malfunctioning ATV but grew quickly, forcing a speedy but safe evacuation of about 1,000 people at a nearby music festival on Sunday night.

Crews were working to contain the roughly 16-hectare fire and were also awaiting cooler weather and showers forecast over some of the 14 blazes identified by the wildfire service as highly visible or a threat to public safety.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for separate fires northeast of Kamloops on both sides of Adams Lake in the Shuswap region where gusty winds were due through the day, but showers and below-average temperatures were forecast for Wednesday.

Eighty-five more properties are now on evacuation alert as one of the two fires at Adams Lake, the roughly 18-square-kilometre Bush Creek East blaze, grew Monday.

North of Whistler, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has confirmed two cabins and as many as 14 outbuildings on nine properties at Gun Lake were destroyed last Tuesday by the nearly 25-square-kilometre Downtown Lake fire, but no injuries are reported.

The regional district says a recreational property has also been destroyed by the Casper Creek wildfire which charred nearly 46 square kilometres since it broke out on July 11, forcing evacuation orders and alerts along the north shore of Anderson Lake and a section of Seton Lake, west of Lillooet.

A statement from the regional district says it is hiring a recovery manager to guide the recovery process for all its affected residents.

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