The heat wave that hit western Canada has left a good ground for the spread of flames. This Tuesday, the British Columbia Wildfire Service reported that there are 212 active fires, the majority in the south of this Canadian province. Two thirds of them have been classified as out of control. Authorities have issued evacuation orders in dozens of communities.
More than 100 firefighters from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have arrived in British Columbia to help with the tasks. This Sunday, Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety of Canada, said that the Armed Forces will provide air support in the areas affected by the fires. “As climate change leads to an increase in extreme weather events around the world, our Government will always be there to keep Canadians safe,” Blair wrote on Twitter.
The town of Lytton occupied spaces in the press around the world for having broken the heat record in Canada for three consecutive days. On June 29, the mercury in the thermometer reached 49.6 degrees. A day later, the flames began to spread in this town. Two people died and 90% of the houses burned. On Monday, the British Columbia Wildland Fire Service announced that the fire was “probably caused by human activity.” The investigations continue. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that the federal government will provide all necessary support for the reconstruction of Lytton.
The Canadian Ministry of the Environment issued an alert related to the air quality in this province due to the forest fires. The ministry stressed that people can experience different problems, such as “increased coughing, sore throat, headaches or shortness of breath.” Children, the elderly, and individuals with lung or heart conditions are especially at risk.
The so-called “heat dome” has left a deadly trail, especially in British Columbia. According to the province’s Forensic Service, between June 25 and July 2, 719 people lost their lives suddenly; an average three times higher than on other dates. Emergency services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have received an unprecedented number of calls following high records on thermometers. The heatwave has affected the northwestern United States in the same way, where there are at least 100 deaths. The heat wave hit northern Ontario over the weekend. Thunder Bay surpassed 34.3 degrees this Saturday, a new record in this city. However, the Canadian Ministry of the Environment has reported that temperatures in these coordinates will drop considerably as of Tuesday afternoon.
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