Fires have been raging in several provinces in Canada for weeks. Thousands in the east of the country have been forced to leave their homes – and now another 11,000 people have fled the flames. There is no end in sight to the disaster.
As wildfires spread across eastern Canada, authorities in the province of Quebec have called for more than 11,000 people to flee. Evacuations were ordered, among other things, in the small town of Sept-Iles. “This is a scary time for a lot of people, from coast to coast,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, referring to the hundreds of fires in his country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
One hundred fires in the province of Quebec alone
Sept Ells Mayor Steve Popper declared a state of emergency in a small town on the St. Lawrence River. Because the wildfire spread rapidly, many people had to leave their homes. Stéphane Lauzon, a member of the Quebec legislature, said at a press conference in Ottawa that 10,000 people would have to flee – a third of Sept-Île’s population. About 1,000 other people were called to flee Chapais in northern Quebec. “The situation in Quebec is evolving rapidly,” Luzon said. There were “more fires” on Friday than the day before. About 20 of the 100 or so fires are out of control.
16,000 people have been displaced in Nova Scotia
There were more than 210 fires across Canada on Friday, with more than 90 out of control. The fires have already destroyed more than 2.7 million hectares. After the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were particularly affected at the beginning of May, the fire brigade battled fires last week, especially in the province of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast. There alone, more than 16,000 people have recently had to leave their homes.
Due to the heat wave, wildfires have been particularly intensified this year. Emergency services hope the forecast for a cool-down weekend with rain will make the extinguishing process easier. The local forces are supported by nearly 1,000 firefighters from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Canadian government also sent troops to Nova Scotia and Quebec. Canada has repeatedly suffered from bad weather in recent years. Observers attribute this to climate change.