Canada wildfires: At least 30,000 households in British Columbia province asked to evacuate

British Columbian authorities ordered residents to evacuate amid Canada wildfires



As the wildfires in Canada have intensified, the authorities have asked around 30,000 households to evacuate British Columbia province. As per media reports, wildfire is raging in more than 400 different places in this Canadian province. Earlier, the authorities in British Columbia had declared a state of emergency as Canada is witnessing its worst wildfire season in modern history. 

The aim of this systematic evacuation is to ensure enough accommodation is available for evacuees and emergency workers. Apart from evacuation orders, officials have issued a prohibitory order on travel to the city of Kelowna. Apparently, it is a waterside city supporting a population of 132,000 people but currently smoke from nearby fires has clouded the airspace over Lake Okanagan. 

While a scarier situation prevailed in the north as the massive fire approached Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. The official evacuation deadline passed on Friday and by then almost all of the city’s residents, approximately 19,000 people out of 20,000, managed to leave by car or plane.

By Friday evening, the last group evacuated from the city was a group of 39 patients from a hospital. They were relocated to other facilities. However, some individuals opted to stay, following which the Environment and Communities Minister Shane Thompson encouraged them to depart.

(Image Source – Aljazeera)

As per a BBC report, the travel restrictions also apply to the towns of Kamloops, Oliver, Penticton, Vernon, and Osoyoos. The officials stated that the wildfires have destroyed homes in nearby West Kelowna, a city that supports a population of 36,000 people.

Earlier, Bowinn Ma who is the province’s emergency management minister spoke on the severity of wildfires and how important it is to pay heed to these evacuation orders. 

Bowinn Ma said, “They are a matter of life and death not only for the people in those properties but also for the first responders who will often go back to try to implore people to leave.”

(Image Source – Aljazeera)

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, more than 5,700 fires have burned approximately 137,000 sq km (53,000 sq miles) across Canada. The estimated area burnt in these wildfires in Canada is roughly the size of Greece. Canada witnesses wildfires every summer but this time the situation is more alarming as the area burnt this year is almost twice the area of the last record of 73,000 sq km (28,185 sq miles). 

Reportedly, no civilian has reportedly lost live in the latest fires, however, at least four firefighters have lost their lives in this record-breaking wildfire in Canada.

Hawaii Wildfire

Meanwhile, the search operation to locate missing people in the aftermath of the Hawaii wildfires is still ongoing in Maui. On Thursday (17 August), the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency Herman Andaya resigned on Thursday for badly handling the response to the devastating wildfires. 

Andaya submitted his resignation a day after he defended his decision not to use outdoor alert sirens before the fires engulfed the region. The Hawaii wildfire has claimed as many as 114 lives. Only 10 of the 114 victims killed in the fires have been identified.

As per media reports, people in hundreds are still missing since last week’s wildfire started.





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