Canada declares state of emergency as 138 'extraordinary' wildfires spread

4:11pm


Image Credit Kent Simmonds  CFJC Today

British Columbia declared its first state of emergency since 2003, evacuated an estimated 7,000 residents from the path of the wildfires and deployed some 1,600 personnel to respond to the fires.

"To support them, we have set up a reception centre here in Kamloops at McArthur Island Park, in the Sportsplex Lounge". Please ensure to have water and food and gather your pets.

"Especially after what happened in Fort McMurray, we were very, very scared here on Friday when the power went out".

"We are bringing a tremendous amount of resources to bear", he said, noting that their main priority was "to keep people safe".

As well, she says, to the best of her knowledge the fire has not jumped from the west side to the east side of the highway, aside from a small spot fire yesterday, however she will update the Free Press if any updates do occur. At least 10 were in "close proximity" to communities and more than 10,000 people have been affected by evacuation orders.

Al Richmond, chairman of the Cariboo Regional District, said as of Friday afternoon no properties were at risk of burning, but officials issued the order to leave because of concerns about changing wind patterns and heavy smoke cutting off evacuation routes. There are several other factors that contribute to how rapidly an inferno will spread, Innes said. The 100 Mile House Fire Department is on site.

Daniels says the fires haven't come as a total surprise.

The Schaeffer Fire, which started on June 24 due to lightning, has burned about 15,000 acres in the Sequoia National Forest, the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team said on Monday. Officials estimate the fire will be contained by July 31.

Mayor Walt Cobb said he is hearing that no buildings were lost at the airport and that it is getting back into operation to assist in fire fighting. The province of Alberta declared a state of emergency in 2016.

Evacuation alerts and orders have been issued for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton.

The Ashcroft fire is one of four notable fires now burning in the province.

The Canadian federal government diverted emergency crews to the state after 138 new fires sparked on Saturday, CBC reports. He noted that the lack of air, coupled with high humidity and record-high temperatures and gusting winds, all played a role in creating the extreme conditions being seen in BC.

"Unfortunately, in terms of the weather forecast, we're not really seeing any reprieve in the immediate future", he said.

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