A man uses a flashlight to check for embers on his property near the Christie Mountain wildfire burning in B.C.'s Okanagan region. (Drouin Photography)

The battle to contain wildfires continues in British Columbia

Officials in British Columbia say firefighters are making “great progress” against a wildfire that erupted Tuesday and forced hundreds of people from their homes near Penticton in the province’s southern Okanagan region.

The assessment of the Christie Mountain fire was delivered in an update Wednesday night by the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Firefighters continued their battle today and officials say a specialized incident management team is being assembled to handle the blaze and the wildfire service says members from across B.C. will begin arriving in Penticton over the next day.

The fire is one of more than 100 that have flared in the province over the past few days after lightning storms and a heat wave that raised the wildfire danger rating to high or extreme across most of southern and central B.C.

WATCH | Helicopter crews attack the smoky wildfire near Penticton, B.C.:

The service did not offer an estimate of the percentage of the containment, which officials said Wednesday afternoon was “out of control.”

The BCWS said Wednesday night the fire had grown to an estimated 1,400 hectares in size and the terrain was making it difficult for 86 firefighters–supported by nine helicopters on site–who are working in a heat wave.

Penticton broke a 57-year record on Tuesday with a high temperature of 37.5C and Environment Canada is predicting temperatures in the low 30s for Thursday.

Showers are forecast by Friday. 

On Tuesday, authorities ordered residents of 319 homes in the Heritage Hills area to leave immediately because of the fire.

WATCH | Residents describe the emotional toll of leaving their homes:

Officials say one home has been lost.

The cause of fire has not yet been determined.

Elsewhere, the Regional District of East Kootenay on Thursday retracted an an evacuation on Wednesday for several properties in the Findlay Creek area to the west of Canal Flats in the southeastern corner of B.C.

The Doctor Creek wildfire was discovered Tuesday to the southwest of Canal Flats. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

The fire, known as the Doctor Creek Wildfire, was discovered Tuesday and ten properties were ordered to evacuate the next day, but the BCWS said Thursday “good progress” was made on the flanks of the 18-hectare fire closest to homes to the properties.

The service said the fire was caused by lightning.

Of the 540 fires recorded since April in B.C., more than one quarter (151) have been sparked in the last week.

Almost three dozen are listed as “out of control.”

With files from CBC News, The Canadian Press, RCI

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