Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Canada forest fires force lumber mill closures, prompt state of emergency

Canada forest fires force lumber mill closures, prompt state of emergency

The fires have been fueled by a crop of grass that grew from welcomed spring rains.

As many as 14,000 people are now out of their homes as fires creep closer to several communities in the BC Interior. "Most of those who have evacuated have not registered".

"The only fire west of the Fraser River is zero per cent contained officially".

"The situation remains risky as heat returns to the West after a brief respite early this week, notes meteorologist Chris Dolce".

At least three dozen homes have been destroyed by a wildfire about 60 miles north of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The area burning is southeast of Oroville, near where 200,000 residents downstream from the 770-foot-high Oroville Dam were briefly evacuated in February when the structure's spillways began crumbling.

The fires have caused no deaths or injuries.

Heather Williams, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said that so far this year about 68,000 acres (27,518 hectares) have burned in the state, more than double the total area that had been charred by the same time last year.

The burned remains of a vintage truck sit in front of a house that survived a wildfire in Boston Flats, B.C., on Monday, July 10, 2017. An evacuation order affecting that region was extended yesterday as the 50-square kilometre Gustafsen wildfire burns west of town.

Thousands of firefighters are on the scene of wildfires across California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

According to BC Emergency Management deputy minister Robert Turner, there are now 14,365 evacuees across B.C. Several evacuation orders and alerts have been issued in the past few days; most notably in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

Shrepnek said conditions yesterday were generally mild and only a handful of new fires were reported across the province.

Zaniboni says he expects containment to go up when new numbers are announced at a morning briefing.

Pierce said cash donations are the best way to help the thousands of people forced from their homes because donated goods often don't match the needs of evacuees and are costly to ship and store.

4 people have been injured in the fire.

"We are looking at many weeks to come of a very challenging environment and public safety will remain the overriding priority of government", he said.

Devastating fires like B.C. Interior is seeing unlikely to happen on Vancouver Island but there are other big fire risks here. "I've never seen as many fires all start pretty much in about a two-hour period". At least 10 of the fires are threatening residential communities including Williams Lake (pop. ~11,000), Boston Flats (pop. ~7,000 ), 100 Mile House (pop. ~2,000), Ashcroft (pop. ~1,500), 150 Mile House (pop. ~1,000), and Cache Creek (pop. ~1,000).

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