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A hundred fires, added to an unprecedented heat wave, continue to ravage western Canada and California on Friday. Ottawa will send reinforcements to British Columbia where 152 fires are underway.
Every year, the drama repeats itself and fires rage in North America. About 100 fires continued to ravage western Canada and California on Friday, July 2.
As of Friday evening, the number of fires in British Columbia (Canada) stood at 152, with 89 in the past two days. These fires were noted in particular north of the city of Kamloops, located 350 km northeast of Vancouver.
“We will be there to help British Columbia and across the country,” promised Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Ottawa also announced on Friday evening the establishment of an operations center in neighboring Alberta, also hit by the heat wave, where armed forces can provide logistical support. Air resources will also be deployed.
“The dry conditions and extreme heat in British Columbia are unprecedented,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said during a press briefing, anticipating a “long and difficult summer.”
A worrying heat wave duration
On Friday, the heat wave continued in the prairies of central Canada. In addition to British Columbia, heat wave warnings have been issued for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, as well as part of the Northwest Territories, and now northern Ontario.
“The long-lasting dangerous heatwave will persist” and will continue to cause “very hot” weather for the “next two days,” Environment Canada predicted late Friday in several bulletins for parts of British Columbia.
“The duration of this heat wave is worrying, because there is little respite from the heat at night due to the high night temperatures”, according to the same source.
Over 15,000 hectares devoured in northern California
The US states of Washington and Oregon, across the border, also suffocated this week in record temperatures. Authorities have ordered evacuations along Lake Shasta, an area popular with campers south of the Oregon border, and around 40 structures have been destroyed, including at least half a dozen homes near Lakehead.
Hundreds of firefighters were working on Friday to stem three forest fires that devoured more than 15,000 hectares in northern California, including in a tourist area that was preparing to welcome many visitors for the long July 4th national holiday weekend.
More than 500 lightning bolts have been recorded in California in the past 24 hours, threatening to cause more fires to start.
Experts believe this heat wave, which triggered heatwave alerts in areas where millions of people live and claimed nearly 700 lives in Canada and at least 16 in the United States, was caused by global warming climate.