British Columbia: the lights are on the alert thousands of people

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    AFP

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 13:10

    UPDATE
    Monday, 17 July, 2017 13:10

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    Several thousands of people were on the alert Monday in the canadian West, and were preparing to evacuate at any time their home threatened by gigantic forest fires that have already forced the evacuation of approximately 37 000 residents for more than a week.

    The situation was especially critical in the center and the south of the province of British Columbia, struggling for several weeks with a time scorching hot, and where the state of emergency is in force in ten days.

    The lights continued also to devastate the forests of California, the american West, including the blistering start Sunday to a fire near the natural park of Yosemite, called ” Detwiller “, which had already ravaged Monday morning, and 28 km2 of forests, according to the california department of and fire protection (Cal Fire).

    With the state of emergency, a fifty evacuation notices have succeeded in villages of British Columbia, forcing thousands of residents to take to the road, without any guarantee of a return home in the short term.

    After the hope of a lull in the traffic lights at the end of last week, these have gained in intensity over the course of the weekend, fanned by strong winds, while lightning was the emergence of new foci of fire.

    Saturday, the 11 000 inhabitants of the city of Williams Lake have had to abandon their homes and spend several hours on the only road escape open, completely bottled and surrounded by flames in the middle of the night.

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    Ten cities have been transformed into crisis centres, where victims are camp beds and food, but cities like Kamloops or Prince George are beginning to be saturated by hundreds of daily arrivals.

    The Rockies threatened

    Nearly 3,000 firefighters from across the Canada and 200 helicopters and planes, are fighting against more than 150 fires in the province, including several that burn out of control.

    Since the 1st of April, 641 fires have destroyed 1317 km2 of forests in this province.

    A helicopter crashed Saturday in fighting the fires. The sole occupant, the driver was injured and hospitalized, said a spokesman for the fire department, Navi Saini.

    Fires the most impressive, as the one near the community of Ashcroft, cover several hundreds of square kilometres.

    The fires now threaten more to the east and the Rocky mountains, where the natural parks national the country’s most popular attractions, such as the one of Banff, Alberta, that welcomes every year nearly 4 million tourists.

    The rapid progress of forest fires in the region as well as the thick and acrid black smoke that they emit has prompted the canadian department of the Environment to publish on Monday an alert for air quality for the city of Calgary, the metropolis of Alberta, yet located on the other side of the Rocky mountains, hundreds of kilometres from the fires.

    The fires are advancing now in one of the most touristic areas of Canada, while the high season is in full swing and the country expects an additional influx of visitors to celebrate the 150th anniversary of canadian Confederation, on the occasion of which the entry in the national parks is free.

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