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BC Wildfire Service preparing for dangerous fire conditions as heat wave bakes province

Officials are warning against a "high likelihood of seeing fire starts, potentially throughout the province."
The recent heat wave has already seen temperature records fall across the province.

The BC Wildfire Service is preparing for the worst amid a record-setting heat wave that is expected to worsen fire conditions across the Interior.

“It is going to be challenging suppression efforts for us,” Cliff Chapman, director of wildfire operations for the agency, said during a news conference on Tuesday morning.

Chapman said the forecast is calling for the heat to continue for a number of days, and when the system breaks down — likely sometime early next week — it could present a whole new set of challenges.

He said there is a chance the breakdown could bring high winds and dry lightning, which would be especially dangerous given this week’s heat.

“We have a high likelihood of seeing fire starts, potentially throughout the province,” he said.

“That’s the day that’s going to have a significant impact on whether we have lots of fires across the province or minimal fires.”

Chapman said officials will be keeping a close eye on the skies next month.

“June is the key month,” he said. “If rain comes in June, that will impact what July, August and September are like.”