The province estimates between 36,000 and 37,000 people have been forced out of their homes due to wildfires in B.C., said Emergency Management Minister Todd Stone Sunday.
As of Sunday, BC Wildfire Services says there are 162 fires burning throughout the province. Sixteen new fires sparked Saturday.
Officials say so far, the cost of fighting the wildfires is estimated at $81 million.
B.C’s Chief Fire Information officer Kevin Skrepnek says things won’t likely get much better, anytime soon.
“It’s only mid-July and forecast outlook is dry and hot,” said Skrepnek “With the sizes of the fires, it’s fair to say we would need significant rainfall to change the situation.”
So far, more than 5,000 households, or approximately 17,000 people, have registered for assistance through the Canadian Red Cross.
B.C. RCMP also said Sunday, approximately 500 RCMP officers are on the grounds to ensure safety and law enforcement in the various affected communities. This includes officers from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
To date, there have been 641 wildfires and total of 131,000 hectares have been burned.