The province of British Columbia in western Canada declared a state of emergency on Tuesday (local time) due to ongoing wildfires in the area. Due to the high temperatures and the rising wind, the fire is expected to expand further in the coming days.
“We have reached a critical point,” Mike Farnworth, the county’s secretary of public safety, said at a news conference. By declaring a state of emergency, large-scale evacuations can be organized and emergency shelter can be arranged for evacuees.
On Tuesday, an evacuation order was already in place for about 5,700 residents of the province, more than double the number from the day before. In addition, another 32,000 residents are at risk of having to leave their homes. “Please have an evacuation plan ready for your family,” Cliff Chapman, the executive director of the local fire service, warned Tuesday.
Western Canada and the United States have been ravaged for weeks by wildfires caused by the late June heat wave. There are currently nearly 300 active wildfires in British Columbia and the hot, dry weather in the province is expected to continue for the next few days. In addition, the rising wind can cause the fire to spread further. About 3,000 firefighters are fighting the fire.
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