Canadians flee oncoming fires

Canada has seen a record number of wildfires this year — contributing to choking smoke in parts of the U.S. — with more than 5,700 fires burning more than 53,000 square miles, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.


World News

August 17, 2023 - 3:18 PM

A car drives past scorched trees in the East Prairie Metis Settlement, Alberta, on July 4, 2023. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces were set to mobilize in the Northwest Territories on Tuesday, Aug. 15 as wildfires threatened communities including the territorial capital, and hundreds of people were airlifted to safety. Photo by AP Photo/Noah Berger

YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories (AP) — Residents of the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories began fleeing an approaching wildfire Thursday in long convoys while air evacuations were underway for those who could not leave by road, the latest chapter in Canada’s worst fire season on record.

The fire was within 10 miles of the northern edge of Yellowknife, and people in the four areas of the city of 20,000 at highest risk were told to leave as soon as possible, Fire Information Officer Mike Westwick said.

Residents in other areas should be out by noon Friday, because strong north winds could push the fire toward the highway needed for evacuation, Westwick said. Although some rain was forecast for the region, first responders were taking no chances.

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