Vancouver, Canada: Over 1,000 individuals were removed from western Canada, authorities said Thursday, as blazes fulminate amid an extraordinary heat wave, charring most of at least one town.
The province of British Columbia has enlisted 62 new fires in the preceding 24 hours, premier John Horgan told a press conference.
“I cannot stress enough how extreme the fire risk is at this time in almost every part of British Columbia,” Horgan said.
The town of Lytton, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Vancouver, “has undergone structural damage and 90 percent of the village is charred, including the centre of town,” local MP Brad Vis said.
The village’s 250 inhabitants were removed on Wednesday evening, one day after it set a stunning Canadian record high temperature of 49.6 degrees Celsius (121 degrees Fahrenheit).
The evacuation order was expanded Wednesday night to residents of about 100 properties north of Lytton.
“The preceding 24 hours have been catastrophic for Lytton residents,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wrote on Twitter, adding that the Canadian armed forces “are ready to back residents as we move forward in the next level.”
Provincial management have not yet declared any harm or demise related to the fires, a number of which were also congregated north of the city of Kamloops, situated some 150 kilometers northeast of Lytton.
Before Thursday evening, British Columbia fire management said the unparalleled hot and dry conditions had driven them to expect another difficult day ahead.
Environment Canada said in a communique released early Thursday morning for the Prince George, BC area that “an exceptionally strong elevation of high pressure over British Columbia will continue to bring unprecedented temperatures over the next couple of days.”
“The duration of this heat wave is concerning as there is little ease at night with elevated overnight temperatures,” it added.
The heat wave continued to move eastward on Thursday into the central Canadian prairies.
Besides British Columbia, heat wave alerts have been released for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and parts of the Northwest Territories, and now northern Ontario.
Furthermore Western Canada, the US states of Washington and Oregon, across the outskirt, have also been suffocating under record temperatures this week and several hundred sudden demises have been detailed.