Army ready to evacuate fire-threatened Canadian villages

The Canadian government is preparing to send military planes and other aid to evacuate villages and fight over a hundred forest fires in western Canada. Those fires are fueled by the record-breaking heat wave that is raging the country at the moment.

According to fire officers, at least 143 fires were active in British Columbia, 77 of which in the last two days. Most were caused by lightning strikes. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said later on Friday to create a special group looking at what is needed in the province. He also talked to British Columbias Prime Minister, local mayors, and indigenous leaders in endangered communities.

Well be there to help, Trudeau said at a press conference. That aid consists of military helicopters and possibly Hercules transport aircraft, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said earlier to the public broadcaster CBC. The Canadian forces are ready to support its residents, he said on Twitter.

Around a thousand people have fled the forest fires in the Canadian province. Authorities say they are looking for many missing people. Deaths have been reported, but official confirmation of how many people have died are still missing.

In US and Canadian states along the west coast, it has been extremely hot in recent days. Lytton, located 260 kilometres north of Vancouver, was crowning at 49.6 degrees on Tuesday. Thats the highest temperature ever measured in Canada. The village with around 350 inhabitants was destroyed by fire a day later. Whether victims have fallen is still unclear. More than a hundred people died from the heat in the Vancouver region. This is mostly about the elderly.