Photo taken Aug. 7, 2018 of the Island Lake wildfire burning through Francois Lake Provincial Park. Image: Facebook/John Calogheros

‘There’s been a lot of devastation:’ man whose family lost homes in B.C. fire

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C.

A father and daughter in Prince George say collecting donations for wildfire evacuees is personal for them, as many of their family members lost homes in a massive wildfire that ripped through northwest British Columbia.

Dan Edzerza Sr. and Kristina Michaud are volunteering their time to help even as they’re surrounded by growing wildfires and must be ready to flee at a moment’s notice.

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C., and residents of about 1,500 properties have been told to evacuate.

Related: Behind the fire line: B.C. firefighters stalked by cougars

Related: B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

Related: ‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

Edzerza says there’s been a “lot of devastation” in Telegraph Creek, where flames destroyed more than 40 homes and properties including those of his relatives.

His son is among those fighting the fire on the ground.

Wildfire smoke has triggered air quality advisories across Western Canada, and Michaud says it’s so smoky in Prince George that it was dark at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

When she went looking for masks they were sold out everywhere.

The federal government has promised to send 200 Canadian Armed Forces members to help. A first team of 100 members deployed early Thursday to an area west of Kelowna to start the mop-up of contained fires.

The Canadian Press

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