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B.C. wildfires will burn 'hot and hard' this long weekend

BC Wildfire Service wants people to be prepared should they be asked to leave at a moment's notice.

The BC Wildfire Service says it's preparing for very intense fire behaviour over the BC Day long weekend.

“We are expecting fires to burn hot and hard this weekend... including overnight,” fire information officer Jean Strong tells Glacier Media. "Sometimes, overnight, we tend to see the fire activity decrease but unfortunately this weekend we are expecting to see fires continue to grow overnight.”

Over the past 24 hours, many properties have been downgraded from evacuation orders to alerts and people can return home. Strong says while this is positive news, people should be prepared to leave if wildfire conditions change. 

“Happy to see that some of those orders have been downgraded to alerts, but also want people to be aware that things can change quickly and whether you are on alert, or order, or not on anything, to still be aware of the situation and to be ready to go at a moment's notice should it be required,” says Strong. 

A total of 18,691 properties remain on evacuation alert across the province, an increase of 994 from the previous day. Strong says most of the 385 properties no longer evacuated are in the Kamloops Fire Centre. 

Many firefighters are arriving in Cache Creek and filling up the hotels on Friday to fight multiple wildfires burning in the area.

Strong says there are many concerning fires surrounding Lytton, Ashcroft and Cache Creek. 

“As the concern is changing throughout the day, we are moving the resources around,” she says. 

Over to the northeast of Merritt, the White Rock Lake wildfire continues to burn and is estimated at 20,000 hectares. Planned ignitions are underway for this fire and 117 firefighters are stationed there, including 100 from Quebec.

BC Wildfire Service says there are 248 wildfires burning and 462,959 hectares have burned.