Alberta wildfire smoke blankets most of Canada. Image Source: IANS News
Ottawa, Aug 19 : Evacuation efforts continued in western Canada amid incidents of wildfires.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said on social media that the government continues to urgently mobilize resources in the Northwest Territories and stands ready to provide support in Kelowna.
Kelowna, a city in British Columbia with a population of about 150,000, has declared a state of emergency amid wildfires, Xinhua news agency reported.
The City of West Kelowna, with a population of around 36,000, also declared a local state of emergency. Authorities confirmed Friday in a press conference that there had been some structural loss in the city. More than 2,400 nearby properties are under evacuation orders.
In the Northwest Territories, evacuation efforts in Yellowknife continue on Friday. According to local media, 26 evacuation flights have been scheduled out of the city to Calgary. The federal government said it is contracting private planes to supplement military efforts.
The territorial government said the fire remained out of control 15 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife, adding critical and challenging days ahead are expected.
Trudeau convened an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the wildfire crisis in the Northwest Territories and extreme weather across the country.
According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there were around 1,000 active forest fires in Canada as of Friday, more than 380 of which were in British Columbia and more than 230 in the Northwest Territories.