Vancouver/Sacramento. Due to the high risk of fire, authorities have issued a “red flag” warning for Northern California. On Saturday, it said dry storms accompanied by lightning strikes may also exacerbate the situation. Several fires have already caused extensive damage to the area, taking advantage of strong winds and drought. According to forest authorities, the “salt” fire had destroyed more than two dozen homes by Saturday. On this fire front alone, more than 500 firefighters fought to prevent the flames from spreading further.
The “lava” fire caused by a lightning bolt north of Wade Village spread over an area of nearly 100 square kilometers, but so far the flames were prevented from spreading to the settlements. Thousands of people had to leave their homes temporarily as a precaution.
Extreme temperatures have subsided in western Canada, but persistent drought and persistently high temperatures have also spurred many wildfires there. And in British Columbia alone, authorities recorded 174 fires on Saturday. The small town of Lytton got the worst there, almost completely destroyed by fast-spreading fire. A record temperature of 49.6 degrees Celsius was measured there just before that.
Canada: Lightning strikes ignite wildfires
Increasing lightning strikes in western Canada have caused several wildfires in the past two days. © Reuters
More than 1,000 people were forced to flee hastily on Thursday night. Authorities believe two people were killed in Lytton. At first it was very dangerous to send investigators to the site of the fire disaster, also because of the toxic gases and smoke.
The military in Canada is on alert due to the danger of wildfires. The Department of Defense wanted to deploy an emergency force of 350 soldiers as well as a transport plane and two Chinook helicopters to a base in Edmonton, Alberta, to support the fire department if needed.