Sunday, October 1, 2023

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Two large wildfires merged in western Canada this Sunday, spreading across 41,000 hectares, British Columbia authorities reported, while tens of thousands of residents evacuated the area. “Firefighters are working to stop the progress of the flames (…) in areas where… ‘They continue to advance through forests and grasslands,'” they said across the province, about 30,000 people have been ordered to evacuate because of the state of emergency and another 36,000 are on alert and ready to evacuate, local authorities said late Saturday.

According to an AFP journalist, the city of Kelowna, population 150,000, 150 km south of Shuswap, remains under thick smoke visible more than 100 km away. Thousands of people had to leave their homes. “It was awful breathing that air all week,” Mary Hicks, 29, told AFP on Saturday night as she arrived from Montreal to visit a friend. His flight has been canceled and Kelowna Airport will remain closed this Sunday to facilitate the work of planes fighting the blaze.

– “I cried, I cried” – “We emphasize the importance of promptly obeying evacuation orders,” said Bowinn Ma, emergency manager for the province of British Columbia, Saturday night. April, 39, who has declined to give her last name, has been forced to vacate her home with her two young children and is staying at the hotel where she works as a receptionist in East Kelowna, outside the area where an evacuation order has been placed. “When I had to pack, I cried, cried, cried. I thought about my family, especially the children,” she explains.

April took documents, jewelry and clothing with him. “This is the first time something like this has happened to me. It was very sad to leave our house. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think our hotel is safe,” he told AFP on Sunday. According to the authorities, numerous houses burned down on the shores of Lake Okanagan in West Kelowna (more than 30,000 inhabitants). – Federal Aid – “Do not go to fire-affected areas of the province for tourism or entertainment purposes,” recalled Bowinn Ma X. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the use of “Canadian Forces equipment and resources in support of evacuations” as well Approving British Columbia’s application for government assistance in a contribution to its 20,000 residents had to be evacuated. After a pause on Saturday due to rain the night before, temperatures are expected to rise again on Sunday, authorities said.

“Although the fire cannot be seen on the surface, it is active and huge,” Northwest Territories Environment Secretary Shane Thompson said Saturday night. Across the border, in the United States, authorities say several thousand people have had to flee wildfires in Washington state, where at least one person has died. In recent years, Canada has faced extreme weather events of intensity and frequency that have increased due to climate change. The country is experiencing a record wildfire season this year, with 14 million hectares burned, double the last record set in 1989. pr-jle/dax/dg/db

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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