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Fire danger drops as cooler, wetter weather arrives in B.C.

Smoke from the McDougall Creek wildfire fills the air and nearly blocks out the sun as people take in the view of Okanagan Lake from Tugboat Beach, in Kelowna, B.C., Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Smoke from the McDougall Creek wildfire fills the air and nearly blocks out the sun as people take in the view of Okanagan Lake from Tugboat Beach, in Kelowna, B.C., Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The British Columbia Wildfire Service says the fire danger rating across most of the province has dropped to low or very low as cool, damp fall weather arrives.

The wildfire service says there have been no new fires in the last 24 hours, and of the 384 active fires burning in B.C., roughly three-quarters are ranked as under control or “being held,” meaning they are not likely to spread.

Six highly visible or potentially threatening blazes are still listed as fires of note, with four either in or straddling the Prince George fire centre in central and northern B.C.

A fifth blaze, the 174-square-kilometre Kookipi Creek fire, is just north of Boston Bar, in the Fraser Canyon, and the sixth is the 168-square-kilometre Hell Raving Creek fire in the west Cariboo.

Cooler conditions mean all open fire prohibitions, including a ban on campfires, lifts on Wednesday in the Coastal Fire Centre, while the Kamloops Fire Centre removes its campfire ban on Thursday.

The wildfire service says there have been just over 2,200 wildfires across B.C. since the season began on April 1, charring almost 25,000 square kilometres of trees, bush and grassland, making it B.C.'s worst-ever wildfire season, easily surpassing the previous record of 13,540 square kilometres burned in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2023.

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