Hundreds evacuated, thousands on notice as wildfire flares in southern B.C.

Hundreds of residents in British Columbia’s southern Okanagan region are out of their homes, and thousands more must be ready to leave on short notice as a nearby wildfire grows in size.

The blaze broke out Tuesday afternoon on the east side of Skaha Lake southeast of Penticton and grew from 250 hectares to about 10 square kilometres in just a few hours.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen ordered residents of 319 homes in the Heritage Hills area to leave immediately.

The City of Penticton then issued an evacuation alert for nearly 3,700 properties on its southeast side, closest to Skaha Lake.

The regional district has also posted evacuation alerts for 116 properties in the Upper Carmi area east of Penticton and Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park just south of the city.

Nearly 100 wildfire have ignited in B.C. following a Sunday night thunderstorm and withering heat wave that has gripped the southern part of the province for days.

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