Nova Scotia firefighters set to head to BC to help battle wildfires

Watson Lake is one of the lakes that’s restricted to the public effective immediately. Tara Sprickerhoff

Watson Lake is one of the lakes that’s restricted to the public effective immediately. Tara Sprickerhoff

"A province doesn't respond until they're asked and we've been asked, so we're responding", said Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Bruce Nunn.

"The Red Cross by the end of today expects to have cash out to 1,800 families that have registered".

In the Cariboo region, about 10,000 people have been evacuated and another 11,000 are on evacuation alerts.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of a new ad hoc cabinet committee to co-ordinate the federal government's response to the fires, including recovery and rebuilding efforts.

"We are expecting there to be some lightning with this system but it is likely to have some rain with it", he said, adding the overall pattern is for hot, dry conditions to continue.

Skrepnek said more burns were planned for fires around Williams Lake, 150 Mile House and Ashcroft.

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The Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara County forced the evacuation of thousands of campers near Lake Cachuma, including some who left behind their trailers in the rush.

He's never worked on a fire that required so many people on the ground and said he's looking forward to the experience. And while it recognizes the growing frustration of displaced residents, it says the alerts and orders are in place for public safety reason.

The dozens of wildfires burning across B.C. prompted a provincial state of emergency to be declared last week, the first since 2003.

Skrepnek said if an evacuation order goes into effect in Williams Lake, people will be sent north on Highway 97 to Prince George, but Canadian Armed Forces aircraft and helicopters are also standing by in case airlifts are necessary.

Earlier this week, the province of New Brunswick said it was sending a 21-man crew to B.C.

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