Those That Had Evacuated The Whittier Fire Are Returning Home

Bob Turner from Emergency Management B.C. told media that firefighters are working out with fullest resources to control the situation.

"We are generation after generation that continue to live in a fire zone".

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

He added reservations on all 18 of the resort's cabins have been cancelled, but a half dozen helicopter pilots and engineers fighting fires in the area have been staying there since nearby 100 Mile House was evacuated.

Fire spokeswoman Mary Ann Aldrich said additional homes were destroyed overnight.

Wildfire in Quesnel Saturday evening
Wildfire in Quesnel Saturday evening

In Northern California, waves of evacuees were starting to return home from a wildfire in the grassy foothills of the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, but thousands still remained away from their homes.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 36 fewer wildfires burning across B.C. compared to yesterday, according to chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek.

"We have been registering people that are on alert or under an evacuation order", said ESS director Dave Dickson.

All told, the series of fires sparked over the past week or so have burned almost 300 square miles (777 sq. kilometers) of mostly rangeland, primarily north of Interstate 80 from east of Winnemucca to west of Elko.

Only three of the 53 fires so far this year in the Coastal Fire Centre have been from lightening - the rest were human-caused.

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"Under normal circumstances", the provincial agency said in a press release, "the BC Wildfire Service has sufficient staff, aircraft and equipment available to tackle nearly any situation that may arise during the fire season ..."

In Southern California, at least 3,500 people remain evacuated as two fires raged at separate ends of Santa Barbara County.

By Wednesday, firefighters had contained 48 percent of the blaze, up from 25 percent a day earlier. It's 35 percent contained.

All evacuees are asked to register either online or by phone at 1-800-863-6582 with the Canadian Red Cross.

The blaze has displaced 4,000 people and destroyed over 100 structures, including 41 homes since it began five days ago.

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"However, the extraordinarily high number of wildfires that were sparked from July 7-8 (over 223 new fires over just two days), their extremely volatile behaviour and their rapid spread prompted the BC Wildfire Service to bring in some much-needed help this week".

The fire's size "is due to both some natural growth and crews conducting back burning operations", she said.

Zaniboni says he expects containment to go up when new numbers are announced at a morning briefing.

Another 10,000 residents of Williams Lake have been put on evacuation alert as firefighters struggle to contain the wildfires.

Thousands of firefighters are on the scene of wildfires across California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

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