Kelowna, British Columbia, Aug 19 (The Street Press) – Wildfires in Canada’s western province of British Columbia got worse on Saturday. The number of people who had to leave their homes because of the fires doubled from the day before. The people in charge said that the next few days might be really tough.
On Friday, the province said that there’s a big problem with the fires, so they declared a state of emergency. This gives them special powers to help deal with the fires. The fires are causing a lot of trouble in interior British Columbia. They even closed parts of an important highway that connects the coast to the rest of western Canada because of the fires. Also, many homes got destroyed because of the fires.
“The current situation is grim,” said Premier David Eby on Saturday. He told the news people that about 35,000 folks were told to leave their homes, and 30,000 more were told to be ready to leave just in case.
Eby said that the province really needs places for people who had to leave their homes and for the firefighters. He also said that only important trips are allowed because they want to use the places for temporary stays. The people in charge also asked everyone not to fly drones in the area where the fires are because it might make it hard for the firefighters to do their job.
The fire is happening mostly near Kelowna, a city about 180 miles away from Vancouver. There are around 150,000 people living there.
Fires sometimes happen in Canada, but this time things are really serious. The fires are spreading a lot and causing big problems, which shows that this is the worst fire season ever.
A huge area of about 54,054 square miles, which is like the size of New York state, has already burned because of the fires. The government officials project the fire season might last until autumn because Canada doesn’t have much rain, and things are very dry.
Recently, British Columbia had strong winds and lightning without rain. This happened because cold air mixed with hot air that was already there because of the hot summer. This made the fires that were already happening get even worse and started new fires too.
Jerrad Schroeder, who helps manage the fire center in Kamloops, shared that things are still really dry and hard. He thinks that the next few days might be tough too.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got together with important ministers and top officials to talk about the wildfires. This group met twice this week already. They decided to give more help to British Columbia and the Northwest Territories by giving them extra resources to deal with the fires.