Halfway through the fire season, British Columbia is responding to double the normal yearly amount of wildfires.

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According to a B.C. Wildfire Service spokesperson, the province is “substantially higher” than the 10-year norm in terms of both the number of fires and the area burnt at the halfway point of the fire season. In British Columbia, there are presently 253 ongoing wildfires, 38 of which are significant. The B.C. Since April 1, 2021, the Wildfire Service has reacted to 1,231 wildfires, resulting in 4,250 square kilometres of burned land.

Schweitzer stated that there is still plenty of wildfire season remaining, noting that today marks the halfway point. There are presently 61 evacuation orders in force across the province, encompassing 3,700 properties and requiring residents to evacuate their homes immediately. There are a further 85 evacuation alerts in place, covering 18,000 homes. If an order is issued, those occupants must be prepared to depart at any time.

There are presently 21 evacuee reception centres, with 5,000 evacuees registered. A complete list of welcome centres is available from Emergency Info BC. As the flames burn, evacuated and returning residents await word on the condition of their homes.

The Sparks Lake wildfire, which is raging 15 kilometres north of Kamloops Lake, is 590 square kilometres in size. According to Priscilla Kazarian of the Thomson Nicola Regional District, an early aerial survey indicated that at least a dozen residences and cottages were destroyed by fire.

An on-the-ground evaluation is still too tough at this time. Because of the blaze, an evacuation order for 298 houses is still in force.