Thousands evacuated in B.C. wildfires 

Wildfire north of Cache Creek, BC, 07 July 2017 (BC Transportation/Twitter)


A state of emergency is in place across British Columbia which gives government special authority over more than 230 wildfires. 

B.C. wildfire officials say weeks of hot, dry weather combined with strong winds and dry lightning have led to almost 16,000 hectares being burned so far. 

More than 7,000 residents in the Interior and Cariboo regions have been evacuated from communities like Cache Creek, Princeton, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House to be housed in Kamloops. 

Temperatures remain hot in these areas this weekend soaring above 30 C. 

Forest fire tragedy in Portugal

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Burnt cars block a road in the Pedrogao Grande area, Portugal, 18 June 2017 (AP/Armando Franca)

A massive forest fire in central Portugal has claimed more than 60 lives and injured dozens of others with hot, windy conditions fanning the flames.

Many died in their vehicles trying to flee the blaze while others died from smoke inhalation.

Portugal has declared three days of mourning in what has been called the worst human tragedy in recent times.

More than 2,000 firefighters are on the scene with help coming from Spain and across Europe.

Officials believe lightning started the fire on Saturday in the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, northeast of Lisbon.

Welcome to the 30s Club

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Shepody Bay from Dorchester Beach, NB, 26 June 2016 (Dearing)


Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of 29.8 C today which is the warmest temperature so far in 2016.

Environment Canada reports at least nine other communities in New Brunswick reached 30 C or higher.

The hotspot was Bathurst at a sizzling 33.3 C.

The warm, windy conditions were not helpful for firefighters near Bouctouche battling a forest fire which was eventually brought under control.

PM Trudeau in Fort McMurray

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours burnt-out areas of Fort McMurray, AB with Fire Chief Darby Allen, 13 May 2016 (Reuters)


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Fort McMurray on Friday for the first time since wildfires destroyed more than 10 percent of the city or about 2,400 buildings.

Trudeau praised the work of emergency responders including firefighters for helping to save most of the city including the downtown core.

More than 90,000 people remain displaced and are staying with family or friends or remain in evacuation centres waiting for word on when they can return home.

Trudeau announced an extension of jobless benefits for those in the region which follows emergency financial aid announced for fire victims by the Red Cross and the Alberta government.

Although the wildfires have moved away from Fort McMurray, officials say the blazes could burn for weeks to come in forested areas.

New Brunswick under burn ban

NB Burn Ban

Courtesy GNB

The forest fire season officially began this week and the entire province of New Brunswick is already under a burn ban.

The Department of Natural Resources says with little precipitation lately and the snow gone, the landscape has yet to become green and it is a dangerous time for fires.

Dead grass and branches become fast fuel for fires during early spring.

DNR reports about 30 fires have been recorded in New Brunswick so far this month which is near the 10-year average.

Dry July creates busy fire season in N.B.

Wild roses in NE Moncton, 14 July 2015 (Dearing)

Wild roses in NE Moncton, 14 July 2015 (Dearing)

Prior to today in Greater Moncton, only 1 mm of rain had fallen this July which is dramatically different from a very wet June.

Some rain across New Brunswick this afternoon helped lower the fire risk and a province-wide burn ban has been lifted.

The Department of Natural Resources is having a busier forest fire season compared to last year.

More than 180 fires have been recorded in New Brunswick so far in 2015 which DNR officials say is much higher than this time last year.

Smoke from western fires drifts into N.B.

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Forest fires may be burning in Western Canada right now but smoke from those blazes has drifted thousands of kilometres east into New Brunswick.

Smoke was spotted in the Greater Moncton area on Monday and Tuesday although it was not heavy enough to prompt a warning from Environment Canada.

Meantime as shown above, dry conditions in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan have led to an extreme fire danger while it remains mainly low from Manitoba to Atlantic Canada.

Smoke from B.C. forest fires invades Vancouver

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)


Smoke from forest fires in southern British Columbia has led to an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the south coast.

Environment Canada along with several partners issued the advisory over the weekend and cautioned residents with medical conditions to stay indoors.

Meantime, smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan has prompted air quality advisories across the Prairies as far south as Regina.

N.B. firefighters head to hot, dry Western Canada

Smoke from forest fires in Western Canada drifts south deep into the USA, 29 June 2015 (NASA)

Smoke from forest fires in Western Canada drifts south deep into the USA, 29 June 2015 (NASA)


Hundreds of forest fires are burning in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories thanks to recent warm, dry weather and smoke is being carried south well into the United States this week thanks to a big dip in the jet stream.

New Brunswick has sent at least 34 firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources to help out in Western Canada since the season to date here has been very quiet.

At least 5,000 people from several northern Saskatchewan communities have been evacuated due to the fires and the Red Cross says they are being housed at several shelters across the province.

Northern fires keep southern temperatures down

Smoke
Winds are carrying smoke from forest fires in British Columbia, the Prairies and the Northwest Territories into Ontario and the Northeastern United States.

Forecasters say the smoke is even lowering temperatures by several degrees which has explained why Central Canada and the eastern Great Lakes region have been experiencing lower than average temperatures so far this summer.

The jet stream has been carrying the smoke but officials say it is moving at such a high altitude that air quality will likely not be affected in the region.