Red alert as blaze rages in California

Red alert as blaze rages in California

Red alert as blaze rages in California

There are 183 fires burning in B.C. today, down from 219 yesterday. The National Interagency Fire Center report wildfire risk will be high in inland Southern California in July and in parts of Northern California during August and September.

Another broke out in San Diego County and quickly surged to 1.5km².

"The majority of the fires that are burning with such intensity are in and around the Williams Lake area and up in the Cariboo; those were lightning strikes that happened on Friday afternoon during a dry lightning storm", Daniels said. More homes were destroyed but fire officials have not had a chance to assess the damage.

Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western US and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Wildfire Service announced that the first wave of 310 out-of-province firefighters had arrived the previous day, and would help bolster the 1,600 provincial personnel already involved in the fight.

In Santa Barbara County along California's central coast, about 200 people were under evacuation orders because of the so-called Alamo Fire, named after a creek near where it started on Thursday, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The wildfires ripping through British Columbia's Interior are beginning to exact an economic toll, forcing companies in the forestry and mining sectors to scale back or suspend operations altogether.

In southern California, firefighters had managed to contain 60 percent of the 29,000-acre (11,736-hectares) Alamo Fire, from 20 percent a day earlier.

To the south a 17-square-mile (44-square-kilometer) wildfire is 25 percent contained.

There are 1,800 people registered now, Turner said. Cal Fire said fire crews' activity has reduced significantly as firefighters continued to improve fire line.

Jamie Leighton, who owns a barbecue catering service named "Porkmafia", has been cooking free meals for evacuees to help make their days away from home a little easier. Authorities surveying the damage said at least 41 homes and 55 other buildings had been destroyed near the town of Oroville. It's 15 percent contained.

HUNDREDS of wildfires, many of them major and out of control, are burning across dry terrain in Canada and the western United States, sparked by lightning, whipped by strong winds and fuelled by temperatures in the 40s.

Imperial Metals (TSX:III), in turn, said the fires were threatening the homes of many employees who live in the Williams Lake area, and impacting operations at its Mount Polley copper mine.

The blaze, which was 24% contained, has scorched 18,666 acres of tall grass and brush in an area not easily accessible to firefighters, Cal Fire said.

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