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Almost 600 wildfires now burning across B.C.

Last Updated Aug 13, 2018 at 5:29 am PST

(BC Wildfire Service/Twitter)

140 new fires appeared on Saturday due to lightning

More than 3,500 staff are helping deal with the situation

There are currently about 40 fires of note

BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – Despite hope that cooler weather would help with the firefighting efforts, almost 600 wildfires are currently burning across B.C.

Even though some parts of the province saw some rain this weekend, the BC Wildfire Service said it wasn’t enough to help with the 140 new fires that began due to lightning.

“It was quite spotty, quite scattered,” Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek said. “Some areas had some really heavy downpours and other areas barely saw any rain at all.”

Active fires across B.C. (BC Wildfire Service)

But without any major rain in the forecast in the near future, Skrepnek said crews are bracing for a very busy few weeks ahead.

He said crews are expecting more lightning Sunday night but are hoping it won’t be as bad as Saturday.

There are currently about 40 fires of note, with the Snowy Mountain wildfire being considered the largest in B.C. at more than 13,000 hectares.

“Really it is spread fairly evenly across all six of our regional fire centres,” he said. “So really from one corner of the province to the other we are quite busy right now, definitely bringing in lots of additional resources to make sure we can keep managing the situation.”

Despite all fire centres seeing a lot of activity, Skrepnek said the central part of the province is seeing most of the fires that are of concern due to towns nearby, increasing the possibility of evacuation orders and alerts.

RELATED: More rain needed as crews continue to fight wildfires across BC

Meanwhile, 2,500 people living in the western part of Quesnel have been put on evacuation alert as crews continue to battle a growing wildfire near the city. Another 2,000 residents in the surrounding area are also preparing to leave at a moments notice.

Skrepnek said they have about 3,500 personnel helping, including frontline firefighters, support staff, as well as people working behind the scenes. That’s up from the usual 1,700 working for BC Wildfire Service.

-With files from Taran Parmar