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Heat warning in effect for B.C. as firefighters battle wildfires in province

There are 60 evacuation orders affecting 3,120 properties, an increase of 62
A helicopter carrying a bucket flies past a property at Barnes Lake while battling the Tremont Creek wildfire near Ashcroft, B.C., on Thursday, July 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The number of fires blazing in British Columbia has come down to 241 from 300 last week, says the BC Wildfire Service.

In a news release Saturday, it said most of the blazes are in the Kamloops, Southeast, Prince George and Cariboo fire centres.

There are 60 evacuation orders affecting 3,120 properties, an increase of 62, while there are 97 evacuation alerts, it said.

More than 2,000 fire fighting personnel including nearly 300 from out-of-province are helping fight the blazes that have charred 4707.84 square kilometres so far, it said.

Environment Canada meteorologist Derek Lee said while there is a heat warning issued for much of the province, temperatures are not forecast to break records like last month when the mercury hit 31.7 C in Vancouver and nearly 50 C in Lytton before a wildfire wiped out most of the community.

“This weekend is just above normal or above seasonal and warmer temperatures than what we would expect for a summer day for a lot of the regions in southern B.C. here,” he said.

“So, we did end up issuing heat warnings for a lot of the regions in southern B.C.”

Temperatures are forecast to cool down through the course of the weekend, he said.

The Village of Lytton is expected to reach 39 C Saturday with a low of 21 overnight and “still rather warm” at 33 C Sunday, he said.

The record for Lytton on July 31 was 42.2 degrees C in 1971 and 41.1 C for Aug. 1, 1965.

Drought is affecting parts of the southern Interior, all of Vancouver Island and the south coast on level four out of five, requiring many municipalities and regions to implement water conservation measures.

The Canadian Press

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