Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Mon­treal, Canada - Al­most 40,000 Cana­di­ans have fled their homes un­der threat of huge wild­fires, with Bri­tish Columbia fac­ing its largest emer­gency evac­u­a­tion ever, of­fi­cials said.

Canada scram­bled thou­sands of fire­fight­ers and hun­dreds of air­craft from across the coun­try to tackle rag­ing in­fer­nos in the western prov­ince, and had even drafted ex­tra fire­fight­ers from Aus­tralia, Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale said.

He said 39,000 peo­ple had been forced from their homes so far, not­ing that the emer­gency mea­sures con­sti­tuted ‘the largest evac­u­a­tion in the his­tory of Bri­tish Columbia’, the worst-hit re­gion in the coun­try.

“I would note that we’re ex­pect­ing at least 50 for­est fire­fight­ers to be com­ing in from Aus­tralia over the course of the next cou­ple of days. And if there are ad­di­tional re­sources needed from other parts of the world, we will ac­cess those as well,” he said.

South­ern and cen­tral Bri­tish Columbia have been hit by scorch­ing weather that has left the forested prov­ince on high alert for the past tend days.

Au­thor­i­ties had hoped to have the fires un­der con­trol late last week, but they re­turned with a vengeance over the week­end, fanned by strong winds and in­creas­ing in num­ber as light­ning strikes sparked new blazes.

Wild­fires were also dev­as­tat­ing forests in Cal­i­for­nia, where a light­ning storm on Sun­day near Yosemite Na­tional Park started a blaze dubbed the ‘Detwiller fire’ which razed 2,870 hectares, ac­cord­ing to Cal Fire.

Around 50 alerts were is­sued in towns and vil­lages in Bri­tish Columbia, forc­ing res­i­dents to flee their homes with no guar­an­tee they can re­turn any­time soon.

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