More than 130 fires, triggered by lightning, are raging in western Canada, struck by an unprecedented heat wave. The federal government has announced the dispatch of military aircraft to British Columbia, the most affected province. According to data from the Wildfire Service of British Columbia, there are 136 fires in this province, after 12,000 lightning strikes were recorded. “Much of this lightning strikes near population centers,” said provincial operations chief Cliff Chapman, quoted by the BBC.
On Wednesday evening, a fire completely destroyed the village of Lytton, the location 260 km northeast of Vancouver where the highest heat peak in Canadian history had just been recorded, a whopping 49.6 degrees. The 250 inhabitants had to flee in a hurry without even being able to take their things with them. Hundreds of residents of the province have been warned of the risk of having to leave their homes in the event of a fire. But to complicate the operations there is the closure of several major roads due to the fires. Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan has promised assistance both to fight the fires and to help the population. The heat wave left 719 deaths last week, including many lonely elderly people who collapsed at home.