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Increased wildfire activity in BC Interior as parts recover from floods

Last Updated May 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm PDT

Smoke rising from the Allie Lake wildfire northwest of Kamloops on May 23, 2018 (Courtesy: BC Wildifire Service)

Two major wildfires are currently burning in BC's interior, as parts of the province recover from devastating floods

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – Parts of BC have just gotten through bouts of flooding, and now, it looks like the wildfire season is starting to flare up.

More than a dozen people living in the Southern Interior have had to leave their homes, as the 2018 wildfires season makes an aggressive start with two blazes.

The Allie Lake fire burning about 55-kilometers northwest of Kamloops has forced evacuation orders for 14 properties.

The fire more than doubled in size from Thursday to Friday, and has burned through 2,100 hectares of bush so far.

It is considered out-of-control, and is currently being fought by more than 73 firefighters, four helicopters, air tanker support and six pieces of heavy equipment.

Meantime, Fire Information Officer Brenna Ward says¬† the Anderson Lake fire, which is burning about 35 kilometres west of Lillooet, did grow slightly, from around 440 hectares to 500 hectares. However, she adds it’s 25 per cent contained.

Ward says it might be a tough day for crews, looking at the weather forecast.

“It is looking like we have another hot, dry, and windy day for us today. So that wind will absolutely be a factor that the crews on the ground are taking into consideration during their response.”

It’s forced evacuation orders for two properties, and evacuation alerts for 29. Ward says three¬†firefighters were on scene overnight, and 64-firefighters have been deployed today.

“As well as three helicopter and air support in the form of a skimmer, if need be,” she adds. “Then there are also three pieces of heavy equipment.”

The service is reminding everyone to pay close attention to fire danger ratings around the province, and to keep burning prohibitions in mind.

“Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail,” the BC Wildfire Service explains.

“We just wanted to remind residents and remind residents in the area that we are experiencing those hot, dry, windy temperatures and so we urge you to be very careful with your weekend activities,” Ward adds.

If you plan to be camping this weekend, you’re also reminded that any campfire must be completely out before you leave the site.

“Campfires must be no larger than 0.5 metres high or 0.5 metre wide,” the BC Wildfire Service says. “Anyone who lights a campfire is legally responsible for making sure it doesn’t escape.”

For more information, you can head to the BC Wildfire Service’s website.