Ottawa was ready Friday to send military aircraft and other aid to evacuate cities and fight more than 100 wildfires in western Canada, triggered by an unprecedented heat wave.
According to forestry officials, at least 143 fires were active in British Columbia.
More than half of them (77) occurred in the last two days. Most were caused by lightning.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would convene an incident response group later in the day in order to address the province’s emergency needs, adding that he has already spoken with the British Columbia Prime Minister, as well as local mayors and indigenous chiefs in communities threatened.
“We will be there in order to help,” he said at a press conference.
Assistance will include helicopters military and possibly Hercules turboprop transport aircraft, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan previously told public broadcaster CBC.
“Canadian forces are ready in order to support residents,” he said in a Twitter message.
About a thousand people escaped from the fires foresters in British Columbia, and authorities are searching for many missing.
The town of Lytton, 250 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, was evacuated Wednesday night due to a fire which suddenly burst out and spread very fast.
The fire came after a temperature of 49.6 degrees Celsius was recorded in the town on Tuesday, a record in Canada.
In the westernmost province of Canada reported deaths, but no official report has been released so far, as members of the British Columbia forensic service headed to hotspots on Friday in order to start investigating.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.