Two separate out-of-control wildfires in British Columbia have forced officials to issue an alert for a number of communities in the province’s Cariboo region to be ready for evacuation.
The BC Wildfire Service says the Dripping Water wildfire, originally discovered on Thursday afternoon, is the bigger of the two fires and has now grown to cover 150 hectares in an area about 600 kilometres north of Vancouver.
In response, evacuation alerts have been issued by both the Tl’etinqox First Nation Government – located 102 kilometres west of Williams Lake – and by the Cariboo Regional District for the area around the fire.
Meanwhile, the BC Wildfire Service says another blaze – discovered on Saturday morning near Pressy Lake, located about 445 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, has also reached “wildfire of note” status and is threatening 27 addressed properties.
The blaze, dubbed the Lost Valley wildfire, now covers 113 hectares and has forced officials to issue an evacuation alert.
Residents affected by both wildfires have been told to prepare emergency transportation plans and accommodations and be ready to evacuate “on short notice” if the wildfires spread into populated areas.
The BC Wildfire Service says both blazes are suspected to have been caused by human activity.
Crews are on-site at both locations trying to suppress the fires with both “heavy equipment and aerial resources.”
B.C. saw unseasonably warm weather in many locations this weekend, with places such as Victoria, Abbotsford, Hope and Squamish logging record-breaking temperatures on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2023.