Wildfires: Thousands of people have already been evacuated in the West

Wildfires: Thousands of people have already been evacuated in the West

Many municipalities in Western Canada are on alert because many wildfires are already out of control and the prime time for them to spread is just now.

• Read more: British Columbia town evacuated due to wildfires

• Read more: Towards a strike at SOPFEU

• Read more: Forest fires break records in Brazil

“On Friday, when we got the evacuation warning, there was panic because it brought back the emotions of 2016. Now,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ has been better, and we are trying not to get too angry,” explained Maries Champagne, a Quebecer who lived in Fort McMurray. Alberta, since 2013.

Currently, 44 fires are burning in this province in the western part of the country. One of them is 16 km from the municipality where Mrs. Champagne lives.

Photo from the BC Wildfire Service Twitter account

Now preparing for the worst, Fort McMurray was destroyed by wildfires 8 years ago.

“We’re preparing in case we have to leave with suitcases for three days,” Beauceron explains, which is still marked by events that forced 90,000 people to leave the region in 2016.

Also in Alberta

However, the direction of the wind has changed.

“Now the fire is growing in the opposite direction, so that gives us a window of a few days to try to contain this fire,” Alberta Wildfire spokeswoman Josie St-Onge said yesterday.

Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Management Agency

In British Columbia, more than 130 fires are active and nearly 3,500 people have already had to evacuate.

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Within hours of Sunday, one of the fires had doubled in size and now spread over 4,000 hectares. The Provincial Fire Service (BCWS) yesterday estimated it could significantly affect homes in the province’s northeast.

A wildfire in Alberta is also threatening the town of Teepee Creek and thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

Photo provided by Alberta Wildfire Service


Last year, a devastating fire broke out in British Columbia in late April. In total, as of early November, there were nearly 6,700 fires across the country, burning and destroying more than 15 million hectares of forest, including 4.5 million in Quebec.

Currently in La Belle Province, only two wildfires are active.

“The weather gives us beautiful days, but also rain, so we have days that help ensure the forests are less dry,” shares Stephane Caron, SOPFEU prevention and communications coordinator.

“At this point, we can’t say we’re seeing the same situation as last summer,” he adds.

Air quality

Environment Canada meteorologist Simon Legault underscores that the currently active fire in the west could slightly disrupt air quality in Abitibi–Temiskamingu and James Bay.

“However, that should be resolved soon. We don’t expect to experience what we had last year, at least not right now,” he explains.

Nearby, the US states of Minnesota and Wisconsin issued poor air quality warnings yesterday due to smoke that crossed the border.

– with AFP and QMI Agency

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