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B.C. wildfire stats: Province spending $3.5 million a day to battle fires

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7:49 AM - The fire fight continues across British Columbia, and according to Premier Christy Clark, it's no cheap battle.


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Clark tweeted Wednesday that the province is spending about $3.5 million every day in an attempt to contain the wildfires.

Clark adds the province is also experiencing the driest conditions since 1958.

The B.C. Wildfire Manage Branch says there are currently over 120 fires burning in the province with most of them reported in the Kamloops and Prince George regions.

On Wednesday, a local state of emergency was declared in Hudson's Hope after the Mount McAllister fire quickly grew to 20,000 hectares in size.

About 1,100 residents in the community remained under an evacuation order Thursday morning.

Widespread fire bans are in effect and several places have cancelled all burning permits as well.

Officials say charcoal barbeques in fire prone areas are prohibited and residents are being asked to dispose of smoking materials properly.


POOR AIR QUALITY

"Widespread air quality/smoke advisories are in place for the Interior as a result of the wildfires," says Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm.


SPECIAL REPORT: Check the air quality in your area


"The B.C. Ministry of Environment has issued a wildfire smoke advisory for the Prince George, Cariboo, Peace River, and East Columbia regions because of forest fire smoke affecting the areas," the statement reads. "The B.C. Ministry of Environment has also issued a Smokey skies advisory for the entire Thompson, Fraser Canyon, Okanagan, Similkameen, Nicola, boundary and Shuswap regions." Smoke concentrations in the aforementioned regions will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

"Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted," officials warn. "Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing symptoms such as continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. Follow the advice of your health care provider, particularly if you are elderly, have asthma, hay fever, breathing or lung conditions or if you react strongly to dust."

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