The British Columbia province in western Canada declared a state of emergency on Tuesday (local time) due to the ongoing forest fires in the area. Due to high temperatures and rising winds, the fire is expected to expand further in the coming days.
“We have reached a critical point,” said Mike Farnworth, the province‘s Minister of Public Security, at a press conference. By declaring the state of emergency, evacuations can be organised on a large scale and to arrange emergency shelter for evacuees.
Tuesday already had an evacuation warrant for about 5700 inhabitants of the province, more than double the number of a day earlier. In addition, a further 32,000 residents are threatening to leave their homes. “Please make sure you have an evacuation plan ready for your family,” Warned Cliff Chapman, the Executive Director of the Local Fire Department, Tuesday.
Western Canada and the United States has been ravaged by forest fires caused by the heat wave at the end of June for weeks. Currently, there are almost 300 active forest fires in British Columbia and the province’s hot, dry weather is expected to last in the coming days. In addition, the rising wind can cause the fire to spread further. Some 3,000 firefighters are fighting the fire.