The number of wildfires burning across British Columbia has slightly increased to 152, with 12 new ones starting on Wednesday.

Since April 1st, the BC Wildfire Service has battled a total of 688 fires, burning 405,000 hectares at a cost of nearly $112 million.

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek explains the money being used is for direct wildfire response.

“That does not reflect costs from elsewhere in government or the broader societal costs of the situation we’ve got on hand here. In terms of the hectares number, that’s a mix of growth on some fires and also some more accurate mapping as well.”

There are currently 27 fires of note, while 15 of them are still posing threats to communities in the Cariboo region.

Rain has helped in some areas as of Thursday, but Skrepnek believes the forecast will likely go back to hot and dry conditions.

“We’ve got a low pressure system working its way across Central BC, and we’re expecting some more, potentially up to 10 millimetres an hour in some areas. There’s also potential for hail, but again, it’s highly variable and it does appear like it’s going to mainly just be a ‘blip’ occurring.”

Skrepnek says more lightning and gusty winds are on the rebound for the days ahead once again, which will make work more challenging for 3,600 firefighters, as well as the 800 responders from out-of-province, and 1,000 forest industry contractors.

An estimated 44,000 evacuees have been accounted for across the province; for more information on evacuation services, you can click here.