Firefighters from the BC Wildfire Service are thanked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2017. (Black Press Media)

Prime Minister visits wildfire crews as hundreds of blazes burn in B.C.

Three structures were lost as a wildfire skipped through the middle of Lower Post

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in central British Columbia to meet with those working to control some of the 563 wildfires that have charred more than 6,000-square-kilometres of the province.

Trudeau has tasked several members of the federal cabinet with co-ordinating support, recovery and rebuilding efforts as the federal and B.C. governments work together to assist those affected by the fires.

Leaders in the tiny community of Lower Post near the Yukon boundary confirmed at a community meeting Wednesday night that three structures were lost as a 50-square-kilometre wildfire skipped through the middle of the village.

Other fires around the province prompted evacuation orders Wednesday, including for homes and cottages threatened by an aggressive blaze near MacGillivray, east of Pemberton.

Dense smoke from the fires continues to prompt air quality alerts across most of B.C., because of soaring levels of tiny bits of grit contained in the smoke.

The advisory for Metro Vancouver now includes ground level ozone, the smog created when emissions from vehicles and other sources react in sunlight and stagnant air.

The wildfire danger map posted by the BC Wildfire Service shows a danger rating of extreme or high across all but small sections of the province.

But cooler weather and possible showers are in the forecast, although officials warn there is a danger of lightning along with the rain. (The Canadian Press, CKRW)

The Canadian Press

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