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British Columbia is blazing as wildfires continue to ravage the province.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Service there are currently 197 active fires, 43 of which began burning in the last two days. Over 100 firefighting teams from Ontario and New Brunswick are arriving out west to assist with the devastation. Public Safety Canada has also sent the Canadian Armed Forces for airlift support to carry crews, supplies, and equipment in and out of fire zones and to help with emergency evacuations.
Several of the fires have forced people from their homes, including one that destroyed the village of Lytton, burning 90 per cent of it to the the ground and leaving two people dead. Almost 1000 people evacuated the area as a result, and the fire is currently under investigation as it was likely caused by human activity, according to the CBC.
There have been additional evacuation orders in other areas across the province. People in Skeetchestn First Nation have been ordered to evacuate to Kamloops or Kelowna, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for 119 properties near to Kamloops Lake.
Wildfires can be caused by people or by nature, and the current fires are a combination of both. Most of the naturally-caused wildfires in B.C. are due to lightning, which can ignite a tree or land to cause around 60 percent of wildfires each year. In 2020, the province experienced 670 wildfires with 395 being caused by people and 275 caused by lightning, according to the provincial website.