30 new fires in BC since yesterday

Thursday was one of the busiest days in recent weeks for wildfire officials and first responders on the ground.

A total of 30 new wildfires began burning around the province on Thursday, making it one of the busiest days in recent weeks.

Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service says many were caused by lightening and most were contained at a small size — around one hectare or less — with the exception of the Joe Rich fire burning east of Kelowna.

RELATED: Firefighters battle biggest blaze in BC history

That wildfire quickly grew out of control and now sits at 380 hectares. It was fanned by high winds in the Central Okanagan, with gusts reaching up to 70 km/h that contributed to its aggressive growth.

It is now one of 157 fires burning throughout British Columbia, which have charred well over 1,000,000 hectares.

The largest fire burning in the province continues to be in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. That fire is roughly 492,000 hectares in size or roughly the size of Prince Edward Island.

RELATED: BC wildfires burn into one large blaze

Camp fires are now allowed in much of northern B.C., but are restricted everywhere else except for the fog zone along the west coast of northern Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. Back country closures have been relaxed in some areas too, with the exception of the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast fire zones.

RELATED: Wildfires cost ICBC $500,000

The ban on backcountry vehicles remains in place.

Since April 1, there have been 1,109 wildfires burning in B.C. This wildfire season has cost the Province $384.3 million.