Forest fires continue in Canada, where several thousand inhabitants of the Far North of the country had to be evacuated by military planes.
The forest fires which have already ravaged 13 million hectares in Canada are spreading in the north of the country, prompting the authorities to evacuate the most remote populations.
Nearly 168,000 people have been evacuated since the start of these record-breaking megafires. In the Northwest Territories, which has more than 230 active fires, about 15% of the population is currently evacuated, or more than 6,000 people, according to authorities.
Separated by several hundred kilometers from each other, the villages threatened by the flames are “particularly difficult” to evacuate by land, explained Mike Westwick, of the territorial fire department, adding that a contingent of 120 soldiers is deployed Tuesday to facilitate air evacuations.
After the territorial capital Yellowknife on Monday evening, threatened by a blaze 20 km from its walls, the local authorities of the Northwest Territories (NWT) – a region which depends on federal power – declared a state of emergency on Tuesday evening .
The situation “is changing rapidly and the needs on the ground are changing rapidly,” the NWT government said in a statement. “We are in a crisis situation and our government is using all the tools at its disposal,” said Territorial Environment Minister Shane Thompson.
“I am heartbroken thinking of the people of the NWT struggling with devastating forest fires”, reacted for his part the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the X network (ex-Twitter).
The neighboring province of British Columbia, also hard hit by forest fires, recorded a mercury above the 40°C mark, a first this year in Canada, the Ministry of the Environment said on Tuesday. .
The town of Lytton saw temperatures soar to 41.4C on Monday, two years after it was ravaged by flames in the days following an unprecedented ‘heat dome’ with an all-time high of 49.6 degrees for the country .
The megafires have so far burned 13.5 million hectares, the equivalent of the area of Greece, almost twice the area of the last absolute record, dating from 1995 with 7.1 million hectares, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC). These fires have emitted, alone this year, the equivalent of more than a billion tons of carbon dioxide, unheard of, estimated the Canadian authorities.
Canada is warming faster than the rest of the planet due to its geographical location. The country has been confronted in recent years with extreme weather events, the intensity and frequency of which have been increased by global warming.
Source: BFM TV