More than 250 fires are still active in British Columbia

However, their number is down from last week, according to the Fire Management Service, when more than 300 wildfires broke out in many parts of the county.

According to BC Wildfire, approximately 70% of fires are caused by lightning and 5% by humans. The origin of the others is unknown.

About a third of the fires are under control.

A plume of smoke from the Inkaneep Creek fire near Osoyoos in Okanagan.

Photo: BC Wildfire

The county has deployed more than 3,300 firefighters to the field. On Saturday, Public Security Secretary Mike Farnworth welcomed 101 firefighters from Mexico as reinforcements.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are subject to evacuation orders or alerts as fires approach some communities. Evacuees are received in various evacuation centers.

Weather conditions remain difficult for firefighters due to the high temperatures and drought in the south of the province.

Plumes of smoke rise from the wildfires of Mount Bel Nye in southeastern British Columbia.

The Mount Bel Nye fire in southeastern British Columbia.

Photo: BC Wildfire

According to Kira Hoffman, a postdoctoral fellow in forestry at the University of British Columbia, unusually high temperatures in recent weeks combined with a significant lack of precipitation have dramatically increased the risk of wildfires.

She says climate change will also create longer fire seasons because less rain dries out trees and cleans trees. This causes fires to engulf hectares of forest, even if their number is less significant than before.

BC Wildfire spokesperson Karley Desrosiers explains that the number of hectares destroyed by fire is “definitely more” this year than in previous years. The fires have devoured 4,090 hectares since April 1, about four times the average over the past five to 10 years.

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