Forest Fires in Canada: 13,000 Forced To Evacuate

More than 200 forest fires in Canada forced over 13,000 residents in various provinces of the country to flee for their safety. Smoke from the wildfires has affected areas in the United States as well, with Wisconsin's News8000 reporting that smoke from the fires in Canada has been seen in the Great Lake state.

The Weather Network said the provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan had borne most of the brunt of the current forest fires in the country. Although unconfirmed, some of the fires are suspected to have been caused by arson. Accidents, arid weather, and minimal rainfall have also been blamed for the flames.

According to the Weather Network, the Canadian army has been called in to help battle the raging blazes in the country. Hundreds of soldiers are undergoing firefighting training to support the hundreds of firefighters already fighting the fires in Canada.

Canada's CBC News says the central province of Saskatchewan has been severely scorched by the fires. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has described the ongoing blazes there as "unprecedented." According to Wall, the fires in the province this year are "about 10 times the average." Over 100 forest fires were torching areas of the province on Monday. CBC News, citing the Red Cross, said over 13,000 Saskatchewan residents have fled from areas affected by the blazing fires.

CBC News posted raw footage of fires in northern Saskatchewan on its YouTube channel.

The western province of British Columbia has also been severely affected by the forest fires in Canada. CBC News reports that a state of emergency has been declared in several communities throughout the province. An evacuation order was also put in place, with over 100 homes affected. The fires have forced the government to enforce a campfire ban in many areas of the province.

The forest fires in Canada have also had an effect on a number of US states. The Seattle Times reports that smoke haze from the fires in Canada has covered many areas in Washington state. Areas in the state will probably remain covered in smoke for the next few days.

Forest fires in Canada have also affected air quality in Colorado and Wisconsin. According to the Washington Times, a health warning has been issued for the eastern counties in Colorado, with delays expected at Denver International Airport due to poor visibility. Wisconsin's WXOW News 19 says air quality in its state has also deteriorated as an effect of the blazing fires in Canada.

Huffington Post Canada reports that one person has died while fighting the forest fires in Canada.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]