Wildfires in B.C. have forced nearly 40,000 to evacuate

Smoke and fire retardant are seen along a neighborhood in Lake Country, British Columbia, Sunday, July 16, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A woman stands on a dock on the Vermillion Lakes near Banff, Alberta, Sunday, July 16, 2017, overlooking Mt. Rundle covered by smoke that came from a

Smoke and fire retardant are seen along a neighborhood in Lake Country, British Columbia, Sunday, July 16, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Smoke and fire retardant are seen along a neighborhood in Lake Country, British Columbia, Sunday, July 16, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (AP) — Fast-moving wildfires in British Columbia have forced nearly 40,000 residents to leave their homes and residents are flooding into crowded evacuation centers amid a provincial state of emergency.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced Monday that Ottawa was deploying military aircraft and Australia was sending 50 firefighters to battle the wildfires. A group of elite Nova Scotia firefighters will also join the front lines.

Goodale said the fires were expected to worsen.

The entire city of Williams Lake, six hours northeast of Vancouver, was ordered evacuated on the weekend. The community has a population of over 10,000.

Wind over the weekend also caused a flare-up of a huge fire that started near the Ashcroft Indian Band reserve, which has charred just over 154-square miles (400-square kilometers) west of Kamloops.