Thousands flee wildfires burning in the US and Canada

first_imgSANTA MARIA, Calif. — Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground.Here’s a look at the wildfires blackening the West.BRITISH COLUMBIAFirefighters were contending with more than 200 wildfires burning in British Columbia that had destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars. The three biggest fires, which ranged in size from 5 to 8 square miles (14 to 20 square kilometers), had forced thousands of people to flee.“We are just, in many ways, at the beginning of the worst part of the fire season and we watch the weather, we watch the wind, and we pray for rain,” outgoing Premier Christy Clark told reporters in Kamloops.Rob Schweizer, manager of the Kamloops Fire Centre, said it had been an unprecedented 24 hours.“We probably haven’t seen this sort of activity that involves so many residences and people in the history of the province of B.C.,” he said.NORTHERN CALIFORNIAIn Northern California, a Butte County wildfire swept through grassy foothills and destroyed 10 structures, including homes, and led to several minor injuries.last_img

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