Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks over a map outlining the McDougall Creek wildfire with Loyal Wooldridge, chair of the Regional District Central Okanagan, as his daughter Ella-Grace looks on in West Kelowna, B.C., Friday, Aug. 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

131 structures destroyed but no lives lost in Shuswap, B.C., wildfire

Officials say 131 homes and other structures have been destroyed by wildfires in the Shuswap region of British Columbia’s Interior, but no lives have been lost.

Erick Thompson, an information officer for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, says a survey by the Canada Task Force 1 search and rescue team has indicated that a further 37 structures suffered damage.

Thompson told a briefing that assessments of the damage have been hindered by the ongoing blazes and are subject to change.

Tracy Hughes, another information officer with the district, says cheers broke out in its emergency operations centre when the search team reported there were no known deaths.

The 410-square-kilometre Bush Creek East fire in the region is the target of the most intense wildfire fight in B.C., with thousands of residents ordered to leave their homes.

Hundreds of firefighters are engaged in the battle against that blaze, along with more than 100 pieces of heavy equipment and 17 helicopters.