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'It feels really close': Residents in B.C. Interior on edge as wildfire rages near Kamloops

The wildfire fight in B.C.’s Interior is becoming increasingly intense.

Kevin Skrepnek, a director with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Emergency Operations Centre, told CTV News Monday that the last two days of rain offered some reprieve.

“Thankfully we’ve had a status-quo 24 hours with respect to the Ross Moore Lake wildfire south of Kamloops here,” he said.

The fire is highly visible and located less than 10 kilometres from the city limits.

It grew to 2,600 hectares in less than four days, but has not grown since Monday afternoon, and there have been no new evacuation orders or alerts since Sunday night.

Still, Skrepnek says he anticipates the situation to remain challenging going forward.

A non-stop firefighting effort—including water bombers—has been needed to keep the flames at bay. Nearly 350 property owners south of Kamloops have already been ordered to evacuate.

More than 150 are on alert.

The fire has not destroyed any structures yet, but it is burning very close to homes in a number of areas.

On Sunday evening, Jason Upton, the manager at Lac Le Jeune Nature Resort which located a 20-minute drive from Kamloops, was evacuated. Upton said the location had just opened after being closed for three-and-a-half years due to the pandemic.

“It’s something that I thought would happen this summer. I hate to say it. Its one of those predictions come true,” he said.

Brent Borthistle's property is under an evacuation alert.

He says the situation is becoming alarming.

"Just with the glow of the flames, where you can see it from our back deck. So it feels really close,” said Borthistle.

Fortunately, no one has been hurt and no livestock have been lost to the fire so far.

“I know that they have a lot of good crews up there and we have a lot of grass, not many trees in between us and the fire,” said Borthistle.

There are currently no evacuations ordered in Kamloops, but an alert is in place for the area of Knutsford.

"Our big concern over the last few days has been that a lot of our neighbors that are between us and the fire live very similar lifestyles to us, where everybody has chickens, horses, cows, kids, everything in between,” Borthistle told CTV News.

He's been trying to help his neighbours wherever he can, moving horses to safety.

His family is no stranger to the fury of wildfires.

They were ordered to leave their home two years ago when a different wildfire came within hundreds of metres of their property.

BC Wildfire Service suspects the Ross Moore Lake wildfire was ignited by lightning.

Mother nature is being blamed for many fires in the region.

There were 39,0000 lightning strikes over the weekend alone.

It's a major challenge for those on the frontlines when combined with weeks worth of hot, dry conditions.

There were 464 active wildfires burning in B.C. as of Tuesday morning—17 of which were discovered in the 24 hours prior.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Isabella Zavarise Top Stories

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