After a few days of respite, fires have regained strength in Alberta, in western Canada. An evacuation order was issued Friday night in the town of Edson, which has about 8,400 residents, the second since early May. "The fire is so out of control that some forestry crews had to back off," said Luc Mercier, chief administrative officer for Yellowhead County, Edson Region. "They can't fight this fire."
Hayley Waites left Edson with her children on Friday night, along with a "huge convoy of people." "When you panic to do everything, you just think about saving yourself," she told CBC. "But as soon as you leave by car, you think: What if my house is no longer there when I come back?»
See alsoWestern Canada is burning: images of unprecedented fires in Alberta
"This is a very concerning day in parts of west-central Alberta. This fire could reach or cross the Yellowhead in 3 areas today at this rate... including near Edson and Marlboro, being driven by warm southeasterly winds," a meteorology journalist wrote on Twitter.
Very concerning day ahead in portions of west-central Alberta.
Here's satellite-derived fire activity over the past 24 hours, showing rapid growth of EWF-031.
This fire could reach or cross the Yellowhead in 3 areas today at this rate... including near Edson and Marlboro, being... pic.twitter.com/KpZD18NhJa
— Kyle Brittain (@KyleBrittainWX) June 10, 2023
In northeastern British Columbia, the town of Tumbler Ridge, population 2,400, was also largely evacuated after a fire came a few kilometres from the city.
In Quebec, nearly 14,000 people still under evacuation orders
In Quebec, Public Security Minister Francois Bonnardel said Saturday morning that the situation in the center and northwest of the province remained difficult, with several municipalities still threatened. The northeastern fires are considered "stable".
See alsoFires in Canada: Quebec burns, New York coughs
"It's a first in Quebec's history to fight so many fires, to evacuate so many people," he said. "We will have a fight that we think will last all summer," added the minister. Nearly 14,000 people are still under evacuation orders in Quebec, according to the Minister of Public Security.
Across the country, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) lists 416 active fires, 203 of which are out of control. Canada is experiencing an unprecedented year with more than 4.6 million hectares burned since the beginning of the year, a total well above the average of recent decades.