There were 177 fires in British Columbia on Saturday, 70% of which were probably caused by lightning.
Fires continue to ravage the country, potentially increasing the death toll from unprecedented deadly heat waves in Western Canada and the United States. According to the latest report from local authorities, there were 177 fires in British Columbia on the morning of Saturday, July 3, 70% of which were probably caused by lightning. Canadian soldiers are ready to intervene.
This western province usually has a humid and temperate climate. I saw a thermometer race a week ago and reached unbearable temperatures. According to the local health department, at least 719 people have died there since the heat wave began, three times the normal rate. On the other side of the border, the northwestern United States is also under this “hot dome.” According to experts, this rare climate phenomenon is exacerbated by global warming.
According to the latest official report, at least 94 people have died in Oregon, and about 20 people have died in Washington. Under the combined effect of electricity climate and drought, fires on both sides of the border broke out and spread rapidly.
The small village of Lytton, 250 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, has become a symbol of this crisis: after breaking the Canadian historical high temperature record of 49.6°C, it found itself in danger. Its 250 residents were evacuated urgently, and the disaster eventually destroyed 90% of its territory. One of the residents, Jeff Chapman, told the BBC CBC that his parents watched helplessly as his parents died in the disaster and a telephone pole fell on their residence.
Even if mercury started to fall to the coast, the heat wave spread to inland Canada, into Ontario, and millions of people remained on high temperature warnings on Saturday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau summoned several ministers on Friday to provide central government assistance to the affected provinces.
In particular, Ottawa announced the opening of an operations center in Edmonton, western Canada, and 350 soldiers will be ready to provide logistical assistance at any time. “In the whole region, as needed”. Recognizing the drought, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair expects “Long and difficult summer” In the line of fire.
In recent days, the appearance of a rare phenomenon has made the situation worse: Fire Cumulus, a stormy cloud that forms above a strong heat source. When these in turn produce lightning, they promote the creation of other braziers. Environmental measures expert Finnish company Vaisala calculated that between Wednesday and Thursday, thunderstorms formed over British Columbia and Alberta have produced more than 700,000 lightning bolts.
“I can only emphasize that the fire risk in almost all areas of British Columbia is very high. I urge British Columbians to listen carefully to the authorities and follow the instructions.”, Governor John Hogan prayed.
More than 500 lightning flashes were also recorded in California on Friday, where forest fires swallowed more than 15,000 hectares of land, including a tourist area that is preparing to welcome many tourists during the National Day long weekend on July 4.
California authorities have ordered an evacuation along Shasta Lake, an area popular with campers south of the Oregon border. Approximately 40 buildings in the area were destroyed, including at least six houses near the head of the lake.