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Wildfire evacuations ordered near Prince George, dropped near Kelowna

163 out of control wildfires burning in B.C., 6 new fires sparked in the past day
View of McDougall Creek wildfire on Aug. 17 from West Kelowna Estates. (Karen Hughes)

The latest evacuation order issued due to a wildfire in British Columbia covers a rural area north of Prince George in a region straddling the boundaries of two regional governments.

The regional districts of Fraser-Fort George and Bulkley-Nechako issued the order Monday night as the 10-square kilometre Ocock Lake blaze moves toward properties in the Noonlang Lake area, about 150 kilometres north of Prince George.

The order is the only one issued in B.C. in the last 24 hours, but several other orders and alerts have been ended or downgraded over the same period, including orders covering 25 homes affected by the out-of-control McDougall Creek wildfire near West Kelowna.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations says, almost a month after an evacuation was imposed, residents of properties between the 900- and 1400 blocks of Westside Road on the western shore of Okanagan Lake can go home, but must be ready to leave on short notice.

Evacuation alerts have also been lifted throughout the Westbank First Nation and in parts of several West Kelowna neighbourhoods, including Lower Glenrosa, Smith Creek, Westbank Centre, Shannon Lake and the West Kelowna Business Park.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says just over 400 active blazes are burning across the province, with 163 ranked as out of control and six new fires sparked in the last day, but the service also says the number of threatening or highly visible fires has dropped from 14 to 12 since Monday.

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