July 14, 2024

Wildfires in Canada: A state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia

Wildfires in Canada: A state of emergency has been declared in British Columbia

Canada’s forests are on fire.Source: AFP, Darren Hull

Wildfires continue to spread across Canada. According to media reports, British Columbia Prime Minister David Eby declared a state of emergency for the entire province on the Pacific coast on Friday evening (local time).

Many homes and apartments in the west Kelowna area of ​​Okanagan Lake, popular with tourists, were destroyed by fire earlier. The city has a population of 36,000. A state of emergency was already in force in the town itself.

According to the prime minister of the region, the situation has worsened drastically.

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15,000 people are expected to leave their homes

Across the lake, the city of Kelowna, home to nearly 150,000 people, was also affected by the fire. Officials said the fire is expected to continue to spread.

Across the province, 15,000 people have been asked to leave their homes. More than 20,000 people have been warned to evacuate. Wildfires are also spreading in Canada’s neighboring Northwest Territories.

In June, huge plumes of smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted across the North Atlantic to Europe.

Huge plumes of smoke from wildfires in Canada are drifting across the North Atlantic towards Europe. The impact on people and nature in Canada itself is devastating.

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The provincial capital, Yellowknife, was almost completely evacuated

The capital was nearly empty on Friday, with only a grocery store and pharmacy still open, Canadian news agency CP reported — and a bar with a pint at the end of the world.

A fire caused by lightning

Northwest winds combined with light rain hampered efforts to contain the blaze, which could reach city limits by the end of the week, firefighters said. The fire was about 15 kilometers from the city limits, fire department spokesman Mike Westwick said Friday evening.

The fire, which was sparked by lightning a month ago, has spread over an area of ​​about 1,670 square kilometres. The fire “isn’t going away anytime soon,” Westwick said. He has already crossed three different control lines.

Worst wildfire season in history

Many parts of Canada have been battling wildfires for months. Forest fires are an annual occurrence in many parts of Canada that often require people to evacuate. However, this year was the worst wildfire season in the nation’s history.

Experts warn that with climate change, fires will become more frequent and destructive. In the prairie provinces of western Canada, average temperatures have risen 1.9 degrees Celsius since the mid-20th century, according to the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

375,000 hectares of forest have already been destroyed in spring fires on Canada’s west coast.

Fires on Canada’s west coast have already destroyed 375,000 hectares of forest. A startup wants to plant a billion trees in the country by 2028 – using seed drones.

05/24/2023 | 06:44 min