Wind gusts of up to 70 km/hour expected in some wildfire zones

Centre of British Columbia closed off to recreation because of fire danger

BC wildfires: Crews fight fire with fire to protect Williams Lake

Efforts to prepare for the winds include controlled burns at areas around 100 Mile as well as White Lake in Williams Lake - the fire posing the most threat to the city.

Since the start of the year, more than 128,000 hectares have burned and $77 million has been spent on fire suppression, according to Skrepnek.

There are more than 16,000 evacuees and more than 4,000 families registered with Red Cross.

"Given the proximity of existing wildfires to communities, infrastructure and transportation corridors, people throughout the Cariboo region and the southern Interior should be prepared for potential evacuations", the government states.

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There are still thousands of people who have been forced from their homes, and Robert Turner with Emergency Management BC says that number is now inching closer to 17,000. An evacuation alert was issued Saturday for the Clisbako area.

Many businesses in Williams Lake have already shut down due to a lack of customers.

Evacuation alerts and orders have been pouring in since May 19, 2017, with the most recent one as of Monday, July 10, 2017 for Princeton, Cariboo, and McBride Road in the Fraser-Fort George areas.

Environment Canada said it expects widespread winds from 20 to 50 km/h to begin Saturday afternoon, with local wind gusts picking up Sunday morning in some valleys and canyons.

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For now, there are no imminent evacuation orders in our region, despite some active fires, but everyone must remain vigilant in this regard.

Even coastal communities aren't immune to fire-prevention measures as fire danger ratings of "high" to "extreme" cover larger swaths of the region.

"What I'm suggesting to people is: If you're going to stay and you're not going to evacuate when you're told to evacuate, make sure you've got your dental records so if you burn up in the fire we can identify you", he said.

As of Saturday, the fire chiefs for the District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver banned the use of barbecues at all parks and beaches.

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