The fire originated from the meltdown and has resulted in a fire that is located in the Shuswap region, located 500 km northeast of Vancouver. This fire has already covered an area of more than 41,000 hectares, according to reports from the British Columbia Fire Department. Fire crews are making full efforts to slow the spread of the flames, especially in areas where the fire continues to spread through forests and grasslands, as indicated through the X platform (previously known as Twitter).
Northerly winds have fueled the progression of the fire, causing the destruction of multiple structures in this tourist region. The province is in a state of emergency, resulting in evacuation orders for approximately 30,000 people, while another 36,000 remain on alert and prepared to evacuate, local authorities confirmed late Saturday.
The city of Kelowna, with a population of close to 150,000 and located 150 km south of Shuswap, remains under heavy smoke, forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes. In the midst of this crisis, Bowinn Ma, in charge of emergency management for the province of British Columbia, highlighted the urgency of immediately obeying evacuation orders. She stressed that this is crucial for the safety of both the people living in these areas and the first responders, who are sometimes forced to go back and plead with the residents to leave.
The wildfires have also impacted northern Canada, including the capital of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife. The city has been surrounded by multiple sources of fire for several days, which has resulted in the evacuation of almost all of its 20,000 inhabitants. Following a brief relief due to rain the night before, temperatures are forecast to rise again on Sunday, authorities said.
Northwest Territories Environment Minister Shane Thompson said that although the fire is not noticeable on the surface, it is still active and of considerable size. In recent years, Canada has faced extreme weather events that have increased in frequency and intensity due to climate change. This year, the country is experiencing a record wildfire season, with an affected area of 14 million hectares, double the previous record dating back to 1989.