Residents in more areas of British Columbia have been forced from their homes indefinitely, this time by wildfires whipped up by strong winds in the southeastern part of the province.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay has ordered more than 170 properties evacuated along a 10-kilometre strip of the Slocan River north of Appledale, near the western flank of the two-week old Trozzo wildfire.
The BC Wildfire Service blames the "aggressive behaviour" of the 26-square kilometre wildfire fire on powerful winds that also fuelled other large nearby fires, forcing expansion of evacuation orders to cover a total of 356 properties — including the communities of Needles and Edgewood, on Lower Arrow Lake.
In the central Interior, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued evacuation orders for more than 100 properties threatened by separate wildfires north of Kamloops and Lillooet, but there's some positive news in the south Okanagan from the Nk'Mip wildfire that has charred more than 20 square kilometres of bush.
The Osoyoos Indian Band has partially lifted an evacuation order, allowing residents of 176 properties to go home, but they must be ready to leave on short notice because the wildfire is still out of control and other evacuation orders and alerts are still in place.
A statement from the Forests Ministry says 277 active wildfires are burning in B.C., with 4,351 properties on evacuation order and thousands more on alert.
The Canadian Press