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Winds, thunderstorms in the forecast for B.C. fire zone

Province holding its own, according to B.C.’s joint fire information management centre
A pyrocumulus cloud, also known as a fire cloud, forms in the sky as the Tremont Creek wildfire burns on the mountains above Ashcroft, B.C., on July 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Cooler temperatures are in the forecast for the coming days, but the weather shifts could also bring higher winds and possible thunderstorms to British Columbia’s fire zones.

B.C.’s joint information management centre reported 245 wildfires burning Sunday in the province.

Fire information officer Erika Berg said the numbers of fires has remained stable over recent days.

“We’ve been hovering around 240, give or take, number of active wildfires across the province,” she said. “We’ve been like that for over a week now, which is quite the contrast to the weeks prior where there was rather a steady build of increased fire starts and growth.”

Most of the fires are in the Kamloops, Cariboo, Prince George and southeast areas, but there are now a dozen fires in the coastal zone, Berg said.

“Right now, we’re doing alright,” said Berg. “We’re holding our own.”

There are currently 3,058 firefighters and other personnel fighting the fires, which have burned 5,509.36 square kilometres since April.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect at the Sparks Lake fire, which has burned more than 650 square kilometres in an area north of Kamloops Lake.

Fire officials said earlier stronger winds and potential thunderstorms are forecast for the areas near the Big Stick Lake fire in the Cariboo and the Octopus Lake fire in B.C.’s southeast near Fauquier.

—The Canadian Press

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