The province of western Canada declared a state of emergency on Tuesday due to the rapid advance of fires in the territory.
The fires are likely to continue to spread and the fires are expected to increase in the coming days.
The cause is the unprecedented heat in the West of the American continent since July and winds which intensify the phenomenon.
"We have reached a critical point," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety for British Columbia in Canada, at a press briefing.
"Based on the advice of those responsible for managing emergencies and forest fires, and deteriorating weather conditions, I declare a provincial state of emergency," he added.
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5,700 people already targeted by an evacuation order
This decision makes it possible to envisage a massive evacuation of the inhabitants of the region to limit any human risk.
The state of emergency also provides the government with the means to provide accommodation for evacuees, according to the minister.
On Tuesday, nearly 5,700 people were targeted by an evacuation order in the province, more than double the previous day.
More than 32,000 people are also under an evacuation alert, but without obligation for the fire.
These fires have ravaged western Canada and the United States for several weeks now after an episode of very intense heat at the end of June, a consequence of global warming for experts.
View from the lookout on highway 3 of the #osoyoos cottages after we were evacuated from Nk'Mip campground.
#BCWildfire #OsoyoosBC pic.twitter.com/PiHSV63cLA
- DGA (@DylanGaleas) July 20, 2021
“Please prepare an evacuation plan for your family,” asks BC Fire Chief Cliff Chapman.
He specifies that nearly 3,000 km2 of land have already gone up in smoke.
According to him, it is three times more than the average of the last ten years.
Today, the region has nearly 300 active forest fires compared to 150 in early July.
The hot and dry weather will continue with more wind in the coming days, especially in the interior and southwest of the province on the border with the United States.
More than 3,180 firefighters and personnel are currently at work in the province.
Read alsoNorth America: heat fires are on the increase, a village reduced to ashes in Canada
In the United States, "monster" fires
In the United States, the situation is also critical.
Across the Canadian border, 83 major fires are ravaging the United States.
Some are so dangerous that firefighters compare them to "monsters" of rare intensity.
One of the most gigantic is the “Bootleg Fire”: it rages in Oregon and is already bigger than the city of Los Angeles.
For the moment, it continues to grow and progress in the area, fueled by winds and a severe drought.
"Bootleg fire": the blaze has already consumed the equivalent of 130,000 football fields in the Western United States
Even across the country, New York City was covered in a gray veil that tasted like smoke on Tuesday. Unpublished images showed the Statue of Liberty masked as the fog was thick. This phenomenon caused by these fires forced the city to issue an air quality alert. “It's a marathon, not a sprint,” assures Rob Allen, in charge of fire management in the area. In an attempt to extinguish the brazier, 2,250 firefighters take turns day and night. "We will be there as long as it takes to contain this monster safely," he promised.
Wildfires raging across the western United States and Canada, including a 'monster' two-week-old blaze in Oregon, belched smoke and soot that gusted eastward and caused harmful air pollution in cities including New York City https://t.co/ Pac0veIRZv pic.twitter.com/N9ERNGzqRt
- Reuters (@Reuters) July 21, 2021