Forest fires in British Columbia: prolonged state of emergency, and aid to disaster victims

News 19 July, 2017
  • AFP
    The canadian Red Cross comes to the aid of flood victims in Kamloops.


    Wednesday, 19 July, 2017 15:27

    Wednesday, 19 July, 2017 15:36

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    The state of emergency in British Columbia, which was ravaged by gigantic forest fires that forced the evacuation of at least 46, 000 people, has been extended and the aid will be allocated to the disaster, announced on Wednesday that John Horgan, prime minister of the province of Western canada.

    “We have had many challenges and we still have more ahead of us,” said the new head of the government of British Columbia, who took over on Tuesday to the liberal Christy Clark.

    “A strong response and coordinate is important to deal with this situation”, has he added, announcing the two-week extension of a state of emergency, decreed on July 7, and that was due to expire Friday.

    Through this province of the Pacific coast, about 150 fires remained active on Wednesday, in which more than half, out of control, according to the Centre for inter-service forest fires in Canada.

    The major infrastructure, such as roads, must be preferred “to ensure that the residents may be evacuated and their house preserved,” said Mr Horgan.

    For this, he said, “we will make further announcements in the coming days to ensure that the personnel emergency and safety have all means necessary” to fight the fires and protect people.

    The prime minister has promised an assistance of 600 canadian dollars per household evacuated, an amount that could be doubled if the evacuees could not return to their homes within two weeks.

    Nearly 3,000 firefighters assisted by 220 helicopters and aircraft fighting these fires and reinforcements had yet to arrive.

    Rains are expected in some regions of British Columbia, but the drought that has been raging for many weeks, and strong winds fanning the flames.

    More to the east of the Rocky mountains, the fires have forced the closure of areas of natural parks national the most popular, such as the one of Banff, Alberta.

    In this province, the authorities banned on Wednesday the tourists camp fires. Alberta had been the prey the last year of a huge fire that forced the evacuation of nearly 100 000 people in Fort McMurray.