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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A change in wind direction is once again pushing smoke from the Cariboo and Chicoltin regions up to the Peace Region today.

Fire Information Officer Olivia Pojar said that the large increase in smoke has been caused by a shift in wind direction, and is coming from the massive fires burning in the Cariboo and Chilcotin regions.

The largest fire currently burning in B.C. is the Plateau Fire west of Quesnel and Williams Lake, which has burned an estimated 493,000 hectares since it was discovered on July 7th. By comparison, the Horse River Fire that caused over 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta to be evacuated last year scorched 590,000 hectares by the time it was declared ‘under control.’ Over one million hectares have now gone up in flames across B.C. since April 1st.

Pojar said that the smoke in Northeast B.C. is not coming from a large wildfire burning in this part of the province. She did say that several spot fires were sparked by lightning strikes near Williston Lake in the area of Hudson’s Hope and Mackenzie last night. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued yesterday evening after a line of thunderstorms passed over those two communities. Pojar added that none of those fires have grown since they were ignited.

Photo by BC Wildfire Service

The current wildfire danger rating in much of the Peace Region, including Fort St. John, is high to extreme.

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