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Canada Wildfires: British Columbia Declares Emergency As Many Homes Evaluates

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About 15,000 households have been ordered to evacuate in Canada’s British Columbia, as firefighters battle raging wildfires that have set homes ablaze.

Officials said a “significant” number of buildings caught fire in West Kelowna, a city of 36,000 people, and more than 2,400 homes were evacuated.

A state of emergency has been declared for the entire province, where hundreds of separate fires are burning.

Hundreds of miles north, a huge fire edges toward the city of Yellowknife.

An official deadline to evacuate the city – the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories – has lapsed and a local official said nearly all of the people that lived there had left, either by car or plane.

BBC reported that about 19,000 of the city’s 20,000 inhabitants had evacuated, the territories’ environment and communities minister Shane Thompson said.

“Some are choosing to shelter in place. If you are still in Yellowknife and you are not essential to the emergency response, please evacuate,” Thompson said.

According to the reports, Mr. Thomson warned that the highways and airports could be impacted by the wildfires.

In British Columbia, evacuation orders grew from covering 4,000 homes on Friday afternoon to about 15,000 in the space of an hour. Another 20,000 homes are under alert.

Premier of the province, David Eby, said that the situation “evolved rapidly” and officials were braced for “an extremely challenging situation in the days ahead”.

Written by: Elizabeth David

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