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Canada. Fighting forest fires in Quebec, the situation worsens in Alberta and British Columbia

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A forest fire in Quebec, located in eastern Canada, is extinguished. “For the first time in history, we have to fight so many fires,” said the provincial public safety minister, François Bonnardel. The fire is spreading again in the western provinces. The situation worsened in Alberta, where more evacuations were ordered.

There are 426 active forest fires across Canada, the French daily Ouest France reported on Sunday. The eastern province of Quebec, home to 8.5 million people, is battling 144 fires. More than 13,000 people are evacuated.

From Monday, about 1,200 firefighters are to fight the fire, including over 100 from France. “There is a risk that the situation will remain critical in the coming days, but the arrival of French firefighters will really help,” Quebec Forestry Minister Maite Blanchette Vezina said on Friday.

“For the first time in history”

The province’s public security minister, François Bonnardel, said on Saturday that the situation in the northwest was still very difficult. “For the first time in the history of Quebec, we have to fight so many fires (…). We think we’ll be fighting them all summer,” Bonnardel said.

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Firefighters are hoping for rain. Showers are expected Sunday in southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec. On Tuesday, they are expected to appear in the northern areas of the province, where the most difficult fire situation is, but meteorologists point out that they will not be plentiful enough to significantly help fight the fire.

Fighting fires in QuebecReuters

The fires intensified in the west

The city of Edson, Alberta in western Canada, which was hit by massive wildfires in May, is being evacuated for the second time since last month.

In some places in the province, the fire is so intense that fire crews have had to withdraw, French broadcaster BFMTV reported.

Forest fires also spread to the western province of British Columbia on Friday. The weather there, however, improved on Saturday, when the fight against a large fire of 20,000 square meters continued. ha at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, near the border with Alberta. The firefighters’ efforts were aided by a change in wind direction from the west towards the town of Tumbler Ridge, where about 150 of the 2,400 residents remained. The fire is only four kilometers from that community. The air temperature has also dropped.

“I can’t say the risk is less, but at the moment the weather is working in our favor,” said Karley Desrosiers of the regional BC Wildfire Service.

A forest fire near Tumbler Ridge, British ColumbiaReuters/BC Wildfire Service via Facebook

Over 4.3 million

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC), there have been 2,372 fires so far this year, burning more than 4.3 million hectares, about 15 times the annual average over the past decade.

Forest fires are common in the summer in Canada, but the extent and early onset of these fires this year is unprecedented. Unusually, they are now occurring in the east and west simultaneously, limiting firefighting capabilities and fueling fears about the consequences of climate change, the agencies stress.

Firefighters fight wildfires in AlbertaPAP/EPA/ALBERTA WILDFIRE

Firefighters fight wildfires in AlbertaPAP/EPA/ALBERTA WILDFIRE

Smoke even in Europe

Over the past few days, a cloud of smoke from wildfires has reached the east coast of the United States, covering New York and Washington, among others, and causing a significant deterioration in air quality. US cities, including New York, are among the most polluted in the world.

The smoke also reached Scandinaviaas reported on Friday by scientists from the Norwegian Institute for Climate and Environmental Research (NILU).

PAP, Reuters. tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Reuters/BC Wildfire Service via Facebook



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