The fires have intensified again in western Canada, leading to the evacuation of several thousand people, while in the east, in Quebec, authorities predict Saturday a fight against the fire that will last "all summer".
After a few days of respite, fires have regained strength in Alberta. An evacuation order was issued Friday night in the town of Edson, which has about 8400 inhabitants, the second since early May. "The fire is so uncontrollable that some forestry crews had to back down," said Luc Mercier, the administrative director of Yellowhead County, the 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 we leave by car, we say to ourselves: +what if my house was no longer there when I came back+?" In northeastern British Columbia, the town of Tumbler Ridge, population 2400, was also largely evacuated, after a fire approached a few kilometres from the city.
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". "It's a first in the history of Quebec 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.