About 10,000 people have been ordered to evacuate a coastal city in Quebec after a wildfire spread across the country. There has been a massive fire across Canada for weeks, and thousands of people have been evacuated from different locations. Recently government ordered 10,000 to leave immediately to avoid any further casualties.
The mayor of Sept-Iles declared Friday a local state of emergency due to a rapidly spreading fire in the area. This led to an order for residents to evacuate. According to Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety in Canada, this year’s wildfire season has been extremely severe and unlike any other in history. Over 1,826 fires have already burned 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of land.
Till Friday, more than 210 fires were still burning across Canada, and around 29000 people had been evacuated before the recent orders passed for 10000 people to leave. A member of parliament from Quebec, Stephane Lauzon, voiced in a news conference that around 100 fires were burning in the province, much more than the previous day. According to Lauzon, the situation in Quebec is rapidly evolving. About 20 of the fires are considered to be out of control.
In mid-May, significant fires occurred in the western provinces of Alberta, British Colombia, and Saskatchewan. More recently, Nova Scotia on Canada’s Atlantic coast has also been damaged by fires. These fires have caused substantial destruction to the affected areas.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that this is a challenging time for numerous people from coast to coast to coast. Although wildfires are more frequent in Canada’s western regions, recent blazes along the Atlantic coast highlight the country’s struggle with severe weather due to the increasing global temperatures.
Residents Took a Tour to Witness The Damage Caused
In Nova Scotia, around 200 homes were devastated by the wildfire, and almost 20,000 people were forced to leave their homes. On Friday, residents were taken on tours to see the intensity of the damage caused by the disaster in Halifax, the largest city in the province. The North Atlantic Ocean greatly affects the climate in Nova Scotia, resulting in more moderate temperatures and higher humidity compared to other regions in the country. Although fires are not uncommon in the region, they are usually smaller compared to those in the West. This is due to the vast Acadian Forest, which primarily consists of broad-leaf trees that are less flammable than other plants and trees.
According to Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter in an interview with a news agency, the area experienced below-average snowfall during this winter and more dry spring, contributing to the current wildfires. According to Ellen Whitman, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, it’s challenging to determine the effect of climate change on one fire season. However, the Atlantic provinces in Canada have encountered hotter temperatures than usual. Scientists predict that the region’s temperatures will continue to increase in the upcoming years.
According to Minister of Public Safety Blair, the amount of land burned by wildfires in Canada in 2023 is over ten times the average for this time of year based on data from the past decade. As of Friday, there were still 93 active fires that were out of control. To help with firefighting efforts, 1,000 firefighters from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States have arrived or are on their way. Additionally, the military has been deployed in Nova Scotia. Blair emphasized that the situation across the country is still severe.