British Columbia Residents Stay on High Alert As 49 Wildfires Break Out in Just 48 Hours

British Columbians remain on high alert Friday with wildfires burning around the province.

There are currently 119 active fires with 49 of those sparked in just the last two days.

An outbreak of lightning Thursday evening lasted overnight in the Thompson and Shuswap regions but tapered considerably Friday morning.

The greatest risk of lightning in the Southern Interior Friday will be in the Columbia region in the afternoon.

The Kootenay, Thompson and Okanagan regions could also see some isolated thunder, Global BC meteorologist Mark Madryga said.

Smoke from the wildfires in the Interior will remain an issue for many days. Madryga said, adding that some high-level smoke is edging into the Lower Mainland and is likely to remain through the weekend.

It was a scary evening for some Kamloops residents Thursday as some were forced to flee as a wildfire came close to town.

Residents in the Valleyview and Juniper Ridge region left their homes but luckily tactical evacuation orders were rescinded just after midnight.

The City of Kamloops said the blaze was sparked by several lightning strikes.

It is believed lightning is responsible for a fire Thursday night near Merritt that sparked along Highway 5A towards Kamloops.

One Twitter user posted an update saying: “#BREAKING- A wildfire has sparked just outside of #Merritt located just off highway 5a towards Kamloops. Police have been seen flying towards the scene. Heavy lightning activity in the area. More to come”

Crews were spotted on the hillside fighting the blaze, which is believed to have calmed down substantially overnight.

No evacuation order has been implemented.


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