close
Wednesday October 27, 2021

Wildfires rage across western Canada and California

By AFP
July 03, 2021

Vancouver: Dozens of fires raged across western Canada and California on Friday with little relief expected from a deadly heat wave that has seen temperatures hit record highs.

Around 1,000 people were evacuated in Canada’s British Columbia province Thursday when a wildfire burnt down 90 percent of a small town that had set a national high-temperature record for three days running.

Experts say the heat wave on "steroids" was brought on by the global climate change crisis and has caused several hundred deaths in Canada and the United States. The town of Lytton, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Vancouver, "has sustained structural damage and 90 percent of the village is burned, including the centre of town," local MP Brad Vis said.

Evacuation notices were issued for large swathes of a California county where a large fire has engulfed nearly 20,000 acres with less than 20 percent contained by Friday, local authorities reported.

The fire has been blazing for a week after it was ignited by a bolt of lightning, a government fire alert service said. Footage from the area showed hills and forests ablaze and the sky filled with smoke as firefighters rushed to calm the flames. A dozen different fires have been reported across California, which was hit by some of the worst wildfires in its history last year.