B.C. wildfires: Military begins deployment

The government of British Columbia said military support was arriving for the deployment after the province called on Ottawa for help in fighting hundreds of wildfires.

The Ministry of Emergency Management announced today that two reconnaissance teams of the Canadian military have been dispatched, including a “ground team” headed for Prince George and an air force team headed for Kamloops.

A statement from the department said the team is conducting an evaluation to inform plans for the deployment of additional federal resources.

A working group of members from Canada’s public security, military, British Columbia emergency management and wildfire authorities is also scheduled to meet on Monday, the newspaper said.

About 380 wildfires have broken out in British Columbia, and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center said the province has the most wildfires in the nation.

The number of highly visible, threatening or potentially damaging fires rose to 23, with more than 70 wildfire-related evacuation warnings and evacuation orders issued on Sunday, many of them were concentrated in several areas of central interior British Columbia.

The Caribou District issued an order this weekend covering 38 parcels in an area of ​​160 square kilometers around Anahim Peak, northeast of Bella Coola.

This is in addition to an order issued Friday covering about 3,340 square kilometers in the Low Couses area west of Quesnel and several other areas in the area.

Meanwhile, the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District canceled evacuation orders on Sunday following the Big Creek bushfires. Residents of remote areas, including Omineka State Park, can return home after being away for more than two weeks, but are still on alert and should be ready to leave immediately.

The Peace River Regional District also lifted evacuation alerts for 60 properties following the Donnie Creek fire, the largest in British Columbia history.

For more than two weeks, the warning extended to a long section of Highway 97 and a remote area north of Fort St. John.

Environment Canada continued its warning of smoky skies and reduced visibility across central and eastern British Columbia on Sunday, while maintaining severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of the central interior throughout the day.

Canada’s record wildfire season is currently burning 100,000 square kilometers of land, roughly the size of Lakes Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Michigan combined.

Canada’s Drought Monitor warns of several “extreme droughts” in British Columbia and Alberta, with large areas deemed “abnormally dry” fueled by fires. showing.

More than half of the province is classified as a drought level of 5/4 or higher, according to the British Columbia Drought Bulletin, which means that ecosystems and communities are likely to suffer.

Four of the 34 watersheds monitored by the state rank among the most severe drought levels, meaning adverse effects are almost certain. This includes all of Vancouver Island, the Bulkley Lakes Basin and the Fort Nelson Basin.

This report by the Canadian Press Agency was first published on July 16, 2023.

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