A major wind event is forecast to hit the Cariboo and southern British Columbia today, bringing gusts of up to 70 kilometres per hour to some areas.

These winds are expected to persist well into Sunday.

Given the current wildfire situation throughout the Interior, the BC Wildfire Service anticipates that this weather system will lead to a substantial increase in wildfire activity throughout the region.

This wind could cause significant growth of current wildfires and new fires may burn and spread aggressively. Firefighting crews have spent the last few days preparing for this wind event, but containment efforts will be challenged by hot and dry conditions and gusting winds.

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.

Provincial parks and recreation sites in the Cariboo are already closed to the public. The BC Wildfire Service urges everyone to also stay out of the backcountry in the affected areas, given the potential for extreme fire behaviour.

For up-to-date information on current evacuation alerts and evacuation orders, check your local government’s website or the Emergency Management BC website at: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

For the most recent information on highway conditions and road closures, check: www.DriveBC.ca

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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