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article imageHeat and high winds leave BC with 40 active wildfires burning

By Karen Graham     May 2, 2016 in Environment
Vancouver - A deadly combination of high winds, elevated temperatures and little snow this past winter has resulted in an early start to the wildfire season in British Columbia, Canada.
As CBC Canada noted back on April 20, when the temperature in Vancouver hit 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), it felt more like the middle of summer. But even then, there were 37 active fires burning in the province.
B.C.'s forest minister, Steve Thomson said at the time, "It's a concern to have it start this early." But it looks like Thomson's worst fears has come to pass. Unseasonable heat and gusting winds in the northeastern part of the province are fueling wildfires that have prompted evacuation alerts for two communities.
Officials in the Pearce River Regional District say residents 60 kilometers (37 miles) northeast of Fort St. John have been alerted to be ready to leave on short notice because the nearby Siphon Creek wildfire is still not contained. The fire has already charred about 40 square kilometers (15.5 square miles), doubling in size since Friday, reports CTV News Canada.
About 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Fort St. John, in the Cecil Lake area, 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) winds were forecast today along with high temperatures reaching 27 degrees C this week. There are two small fires burning in this area, threatening several homes, according to the Globe and Mail.
The B.C. Wildfire Service notes the Voight Creek fire is now 85 percent contained, and at the Clearview fire, fire crews have surrounded about 75 percent of the fire and will watch conditions throughout the day. According to fire officials, there are currently 40 active fires burning in the province larger than 10 hectares (25 acres) in size.
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