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Wildfires rage across province

Nearly 70 people have been evacuated as an uncontained wildfire rages in the Cariboo region west of Quesnel, but forestry officials say the Euchiniko Lakes blaze is not threatening any homes.

They say the lightning-caused fire grew significantly Sunday night and has scorched 20-square-kilometres of woodland 120 kilometres west of Quesnel since it was discovered last Tuesday.

Although homes are not in immediate danger, an evacuation order was issued Sunday for two people at the Euchiniko Lake Ranch Lodge, while 66 members of the Kluskus Indian Reserve agreed to evacuate to Quesnel because of fears the flames could cut off roads to the remote region.

Meanwhile, the eight-day-old Red Deer Creek fire, 61 kilometres southeast of Tumbler Ridge is now estimated to cover 38-square-kilometres and is uncontained, keeping three evacuated oil-and-gas camps shutdown.

Forestry officials are battling 63 wildfires across B.C., with 23 considered notable for their size, location or potential danger, and four, including the 62-square-kilometre Chelaslie River blaze in central BC, listed as interface fires threatening homes or properties.

Hot, dry, windy weather is complicating firefighting efforts and with lightning expected in many areas of the province, crews in all six B.C. fire centres remain on high alert.

The Canadian Press

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