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Thousands of people in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia (BC) have been evacuated from their homes as authorities warn that a enormous wildfire continues to grow.

In a video shared online late on Sunday, Cliff Chapman of the BC Wildfire Service said the Parker Lake Wildfire has exhibited “fast growth and high fire behaviour” since it began on Friday, west of the town of Fort Nelson. A small community of about 3,000 residents, Fort Nelson is located 1,600km north of Vancouver in northeastern BC.

“Over the weekend, wildfire activity in the northeast of the province increased dramatically,” Chapman said in the video.

As of early Monday morning, the blaze had reached 5,280 hectares and was just west of Fort Nelson, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

It comes as Canada saw its most intense fire season on record in 2023, as hundreds of wildfires burned in provinces and territories across the country.

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