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Here's What It Looks Like To Drive Through The Raging BC Wildfires

"It was alarming but you can't panic."

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This is what it's like driving through the raging BC wildfires, which have consumed about 70,000 hectares in the province so far this year.

View this video on YouTube

University of British Columbia professor Sally Aitken and her husband drove through the fire near Williams Lake earlier this week. She later shared this video of their narrow escape down Highway 20.

Although it was still light out, the thick smoke made it look like nighttime "in the belly of the beast," Aitken tweeted.

The fire we drove through west of Williams Lake BC (Hwy 20) yesterday evening. It was not yet dark - except in the…

Aitken told the Canadian Press that she and her husband left their cabin in the BC interior even though there was no mandatory evacuation order. They had been without power for several days and decided to get out while they could.

"It was alarming but you can't panic because you've got to get out of the situation and you've got to think clearly," she said.

About 14,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The scale of the wildfires prompted the province to declare a state of emergency on July 7, the first provincial state of emergency since 2003.

People can donate to relief efforts through the Canadian Red Cross website.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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