By The Canadian Press
July 27, 2017, Kamloops, B.C. - A wildfire east of Kamloops, B.C., has become less aggressive but evacuation orders there and elsewhere around the province have forced thousands of residents to remain out of their homes.
BC Wildfire Service information officer Max Birkner said the fire sparked Wednesday night near Monte Lake grew dramatically and is now mapped at around 1.5 square kilometres in size.
''The fire looks really beaten down,'' he said Thursday, describing it as a smoldering ground fire that has produced a lot of black ground and smoke.
''We did have 31 firefighters out here overnight and they'll be quickly making a determination (about) how many people are going to remain out here today,'' he said.
Birkner couldn't confirm if any structures had been lost.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District declared a local state of emergency Wednesday and issued two evacuation orders covering about 60 properties near the fire.
Other properties along the eastern shore of Monte Lake, as well as several north and west of the community, are on evacuation alert, which means residents may need to leave at a moment's notice.
Evacuees have been told to head to Kamloops, where thousands of others have taken refugee as more than 150 fires burn across the
Officials with the BC Wildfire Service have warned that persistent hot, dry weather in southern parts of the province is likely to make the already nasty fire situation worse in coming weeks.
Robert Turner with Emergency Management BC said the relentless fire conditions have taken a toll on fire crews, volunteers and
about 19,000 people who are still out of their homes.
(The Canadian Press, CHNL)