The wildfire battle in British Columbia continues today, focusing on the central Okanagan, where flames tore through West Kelowna suburbs and forced the evacuation of neighbouring Kelowna's University of B.C. campus.

The fire fight in the Interior is the epicentre for a battle against hundreds of fires across B.C. that have prompted the declaration of a provincewide state of emergency and forced the evacuation of about 15,000 people.

Fire officials say the intense McDougall Creek wildfire has destroyed a significant number of properties in West Kelowna with the potential for more property damage late Friday.

West Kelowna fire Chief Jason Brolund told a news conference the battle against the wildfire was like "100 years of firefighting."

BC Wildfire Service spokesman Cliff Chapman says high winds and lightning that swept across the province in recent days ignited and  kindled dangerous fires in areas beyond the central Okanagan.

He says a fire in the Lytton area forced the evacuations of numerous properties, including the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway, while the Downton Creek fire in the Gun Lake area near Lillooet destroyed homes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2023.