BC wildfires force thousands from homes

Strong winds fanned British Columbia's wildfires over the weekend, forcing thousands of people in the central Interior to leave their homes.

More than a dozen of the 160 fires burning in B-C are threatening communities and have forced about 37-thousand residents out of their homes.

Robert Turner, with Emergency Management BC, says it's crucial that everyone be prepared for an emergency, because the province is just at the beginning of the fire season and it's likely to get worse.

A fire that raced through the forest above Okanagan Lake in the community of Lake Country on Saturday destroyed eight homes.

Fire chief Steve Windsor says they did everything possible to save the homes, but the fire just moved too quickly.

Evacuation centres have been set up as far away as Metro Vancouver, more than 500 kilometres from Williams Lake.

Almost three-thousands firefighters are working on the fires, along with 200 aircraft.

A helicopter pilot is in stable condition in hospital after his chopper crashed on Saturday while battling a fire near Williams Lake.