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Aggressive wildfires near Oliver force hundreds to evacuate

"We are officially evacuating. My parents house may be safe... Or not. So we go. Pray for Oliver," a Vancouverite visiting her parents wrote on Facebook last night.

Two fast−moving wildfires near in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley have forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said the Wilsons Mountain fire raging one kilometre north of Oliver had grown to about 150 hectares by early Saturday morning.

Fire information officer Kayla Pepper said Friday evening that three helicopters and crews from multiple agencies were responding, however, the available air tankers had been grounded by stormy weather.

The other blaze, the Testalinden Creek fire, ignited Friday evening about seven kilometres south of Oliver.

By early Saturday morning it covered 750 hectares and was still growing.

The Regional District of Okanagan−Similkameen has issued an evacuation order for more than 200 homes in the area of the two fires.

The district says both blazes pose an imminent threat to the homes and it has opened an emergency operations centre to co−ordinate its response.

Emergency Social Services has also been activated at the Oliver Community Centre to help deal with evacuees.

 

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