Ontario, NB firefighters arrive in B.C. as nearly 200 wildfires blaze


Firefighting teams from Ontario and New Brunswick are arriving in British Columbia to assist with devastating wildfires.

The BC Wildfire Service says the nearly 100 out-of-province members must pass COVID-19 safety checks before being sent into the field.

Public Safety Canada also says it has committed the Canadian Armed Forces for airlift support to carry crews, supplies and equipment in and out of fire zones and to assist with emergency evacuations if needed.

READ MORE: No ‘active or ongoing’ missing persons reports linked to Lytton, B.C., fire, says RCMP

The wildfire service says 196 active wildfires are currently burning in B.C., with at least 40 sparked over the weekend.

Evacuation orders are in place because of five of those wildfires, including one near Lytton, where a fire that destroyed much of the village last Wednesday covers 76 square kilometres but didn’t grow significantly Sunday.

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Separate fires north of Kamloops and east of 100 Mile House have also forced hundreds of people from their homes and prompted evacuation alerts for hundreds more.

A non-profit agency that co-ordinates interprovincial aid and resources warns more difficult days lie ahead in B.C.

“Anticipating multiple fire starts each day over the next (three) days,” says the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre in its report issued Sunday.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfire map 2021: Location and size of the fires burning around the province

Environment Canada is maintaining heat warnings for several B.C. regions, including areas where many of the most threatening wildfires continue to burn.

Daytime highs of 35 C and nighttime lows barely falling below 20 C increase the risk of wildfires due to drought conditions, says the weather office.

Lightning is in Monday’s forecast for many of the at-risk regions, with a chance of showers.

The weather agency predicts the heat wave that began last month will continue at least through Monday night.

Click to play video: 'Lytton fire: Two dead and a town gone in minutes'

Lytton fire: Two dead and a town gone in minutes

Lytton fire: Two dead and a town gone in minutes

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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