KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A resort community in British Columbia is asking visitors to stay away to support any evacuation orders due to wildfires.
Officials say 132 addresses in the Whitecroft community near Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality have been evacuated due to a blaze that covers about 1.5 kilometres.
Brandi Schier, a spokeswoman for the Sun Peaks' emergency operations centre, says firefighters from the resort town are helping crews from the BC Wildfire Service battle the Embleton Mountain fire.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued an evacuation alert for residents of nearby Heffley Lake, and Schier says that covers 156 addresses.
A total of 12 evacuation alerts and nine evacuation orders are currently in place for the region that is home to the village of Lytton, which was nearly destroyed by a fast-spreading fire on June 30.
Schier says there are no alerts or orders in effect for Sun Peaks, but only residents are being permitted to enter the destination that is popular among tourists.
"We're just asking that people put a pause on those plans right while the situation is taken care of," she says.
Hot and dry conditions are persisting in parts of southern British Columbia while cooler temperatures are helping crews suppress wildfires in the north.
Fire information officer Taylor Colman of the BC Wildfire Service says 67 fires are currently classified as out of control, but crews have not yet been able to evaluate the newest ones.
The Sparks Lake fire, in the Kamloops fire centre, is the largest in the province at 402 square kilometres, but people are not at risk in the rural area.
Colman says 306 fires are burning across B.C., most of them in the Kamloops and Cariboo fire centres.
She says that so far this season, lightning has sparked 42 per cent of fires while 40 per cent of them have been caused by humans and the rest are still being investigated.
A total of 957 fires have started since the beginning of the wildfire season.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2021.
The Canadian Press