Thousands of residents fled the fires in western Canada on Wednesday with several hundred troops set to deploy to tackle this year’s virulent and early fires, which are wreaking havoc in parts of western Canada. North America.
“I have a vacation trailer which is my new home,” said Margo Wagner, district chief in the western province of British Columbia, who found herself among the evacuees.
The blaze marks the second time in four years that her home in rural Canim Lake, in the center of the province, has been threatened by a fire.
South of the border, a number of communities in the United States are threatened by wildfires, creating conditions so extreme that the fires have created their own climate, experts say.
Nearly 80 massive fires are currently ravaging hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) in California, Oregon, Montana and Nevada.
The most prominent of these is still the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, which burned a section of land the same size as the city of Los Angeles, in just two weeks.
In neighboring California, several towns were evacuated as they faced rising flames from the Dixie Fire, a conflagration that may have been caused by a falling tree on the Pacific Gas and Electric lines ( PG&E).
Back in Canada, British Columbia declared a state of emergency on Monday, with more than 5,700 people on evacuation orders and more than 32,000 people on evacuation alert.
“We did it in 2017 and will do it again in 2021. Is it stressful? Is it scary? Absolutely it is, ”Wagner said.
Other neighboring regions are bracing for the worst as weather conditions – especially wind and heat – are unlikely to give the 3,000 firefighters already fighting the fires a break anytime soon.
“I have lived here in Ashcroft for almost 25 years now and have never seen anything like it before,” said Mayoress Barbara Roden, whose municipality in the center of the province has been on high alert since the 14th. July.
“The scariest thing in a lot of ways is we’re all looking at the schedule and it’s not until mid-July,” she said.
Climate change is amplifying droughts that are drying out regions, creating ideal conditions for forest fires.
The Canadian Armed Forces are preparing to deploy 350 additional troops to British Columbia and 120 to Manitoba, a central province also struggling with major fires, according to the Canadian Joint Operations Command.
In Ontario, some 75 military personnel assist firefighters.
© 2021 AFP