Newspaper article The Canadian Press

District at Centre of B.C. Firefight Says at Least 41 More Homes Lost

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

District at Centre of B.C. Firefight Says at Least 41 More Homes Lost

Article excerpt

41 homes added to the list of B.C. fires losses

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VANCOUVER - Officials in one of the regions hardest-hit by British Columbia's wildfires provided a grim update Wednesday on the number homes lost, and say the tally is expected to grow.

The Cariboo Regional District said 41 homes have been destroyed and more than 35,000 residents on about 13,000 parcels of land are under either evacuation orders or alerts.

Another eight homes were confirmed lost in the Central Okanagan region last weekend and almost three dozen trailers were destroyed when fire raced through the Boston Flats trailer park next to Cache Creek, B.C., when the fires first flared up in early July.

The number of homes destroyed in the Interior could still grow, said Cariboo Regional District Chairman Al Richmond, noting there are still several areas officials haven't been able to access because of fire activity.

"I believe it is probably quite likely that the number will still go up, but we can only limit it to the roads we've been able to do so far," he said.

The news comes on the same day that Premier John Horgan announced that the province would be extending the state of emergency for another two weeks over the unprecedented fire situation in the province.

The current state of emergency expires Friday and Horgan said he regrets having to lengthen it.

"This is unprecedented," he said. "Traditionally, when an emergency is declared, people are usually back in their homes within the two-week period. That may not be the case for many individuals."

The new premier said people who are kept out of their homes for more than 14 days will get a second payment of $600, which will be paid out of a previously announced $100-million fund administered by the Canadian Red Cross.

The BC Wildfire Service said 140 fires were burning across the province Wednesday morning, including 15 that threatened communities.

But chief information officer Kevin Skrepnek said calmer winds have allowed crews to make progress building guards around scores of wildfires currently threatening communities in central and southern B. …

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