National News

More out-of-province fire crews sent to B.C.

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Another 153 firefighters from across Canada have arrived in British Columbia as the province braces for more hot, dry weather that could send the wildfire danger soaring.

The Ministry of Forests says 100 sustained-action firefighters and additional single specialists from Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick have been briefed in Kamloops, B.C., and assigned to fires throughout the province.

The new teams will spell-off crews that have been working on roughly 15 large or potentially threatening blazes, including the 15-square-kilometre Botanie (bo-TAN'-ee) Road fire just outside Lytton, 260 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, where more than 100 residents remain out of their homes.

Newly arriving crews will have to endure about 48 hours of wet and wicked weather as a powerful storm is forecast to bring torrential rain, lightning and winds to most of southern B.C., but the heat is expected to return by Friday.

Officials say that will quickly evaporate any of the much-needed moisture, so campfire bans and other measures to prevent wildfires remain in effect.

More than 2,000 B.C. fire crews have been bolstered by about 750 local contractors and 350 out-of-province firefighters battling blazes in conditions considered the driest in more than half a century.

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