09/11/2017 13:24 EDT | Updated 09/11/2017 13:40 EDT

Rain forecast to visit B.C.'s parched southeast region later in the week

CASTLEGAR, B.C. — British Columbia's agriculture minister says the recovery phase has begun for this year's calamitous wildfire season with the arrival of cooler, wet weather in the parched southeast region forecast for later this week.

Lana Popham says recovering from the most destructive wildfire season in B.C. history will not be quick or easy, and residents must remain vigilant until the season comes to an end.

Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service says showers are predicted to make their way southward to the East Kootenays from Wednesday to Friday, where a number of large fires continue to burn.

Skrepnek says more than 1,200 wildfires have destroyed nearly 11,700 square kilometres of land, overtaking the previous record of about 8,950 square kilometres incinerated in 1958.

Emergency Management BC is looking into the possibility of slowing down fire operations thanks to the favourable forecast, and a spokesman for the Transport Ministry says there are no highway closures or smoke advisories as of Monday afternoon.

RCMP spokeswoman Dawn Roberts says 4,400 officers and civilian personnel were deployed on a rotational basis for what has been one of the largest and longest emergency support operations the Mounties have been involved with.

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