Western Canada declared a state of emergency this Friday due to the worsening of the crisis caused by hundreds of forest fires that have forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the last few hours.
David Elby, the prime minister of the province of British Columbia, in the far west of the country, announced the declaration of a state of emergency at a press conference held on Friday night in which he urged the population to comply with the orders of evacuation.
The fires have forced the evacuation of 15,000 people.
The authorities made the decision to declare a state of emergency when the growth of several fires forced them to order the evacuation of 15,000 people. In addition, another 20,000 have been warned that at any moment they may have to leave their homes.
This Friday, the province had 388 forest fires active but it is feared that the situation will worsen in the next few hours due to weather conditions. Across Canada, which is experiencing its worst wildfire season, 1,052 fires are active.
The most serious fire is located 300 kilometers east of Vancouver
The most serious fire is the one that affects the towns of West Kelowna and Kelowna, about 300 kilometers east of Vancouver and with a combined population of more than 160,000 people.
The flames have advanced in the last hours and have destroyed several buildings in the two towns. The Kelowna International Airport has had to cease its operations and the airspace has been restricted to fire-fighting operations.
Meanwhile, in the Northwest Territories, in the north of the country, the authorities announced on Friday night that 95% of the 20,000 inhabitants of the city of Yellowknife have already evacuated the town.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to the city of Edmonton on Friday to visit one of the reception centers for evacuees from Yellowknife.
Authorities in the Northwest Territories ordered an evacuation on Wednesday due to the threat posed by four wildfires surrounding the region’s capital.
Although the order established that the deadline for evacuation was noon on Friday, an estimated 1,000 people still remain in Yellowknife.
Its mayor, Rebecca Alty, requested in a press conference held on Friday night that those who still remain in the city leave it as soon as possible since the flames are only 15 kilometers from the town. “Everyone should go tonight,” Alty declared.
In the last few hours, emergency teams with the help of the country’s armed forces have created firebreaks around Yellowknife while spraying the ground and buildings with liquid to protect them against the flames.