THOUSANDS of people in the Canadian province of British Columbia have been ordered to leave their homes as more than 500 fires rage out of control in the province.
The blazes have been fuelled by dry forests and record high temperatures.
''Our province is facing the highest levels of wildfire risk in memory,'' the province's Premier, Gordon Campbell, told the CBC network at the weekend.
''Record high temperatures have created a serious situation,'' Mr Campbell said.
''[Conditions] can best be described as tinder dry.
''The forests across this province are in probably the driest situation they've been that any of us can recall.''
Temperatures in some parts of the province had reached more than 36 degrees for several days running, Environment Canada said.
''There are 531 forest fires currently burning,'' Mr Campbell said.
Evacuation orders had been issued for some communities, while an additional 3000 people were told to be ready to leave their homes.
Fifteen hundred people were evacuated from their homes in the town of Fintry on Saturday, just two days after being allowed to return after a previous evacuation.
British Columbia is spending $C3 million ($A3.3 million) a day fighting the fires.
Mr Campbell asked people to stay out of the forests in order to avoid any risk of being trapped in a fire or accidentally starting a new one.
Since April 1, firefighters in British Columbia have responded to 1817 wildfires that have burned 51,042 hectares of forests and grasslands, Mr Campbell's office said.
By comparison, at the same point in 2003 there were 959 fires and 31,000 hectares burned.
A fire that was sparked by a lightning strike late on Thursday near the Whistler ski resort, a venue of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was under control and the site remained open, an organising committee official said.
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