Thousands of residents fleeing the path of insurgency Forest fire In CanadaNorth-western regions faced hours-long queues on roads ahead of Friday’s deadline and many people were turned away from packed flights.
More than 20,000 residents of the territorial capital Yellowknife and surrounding areas were given until 12 p.m. Friday to evacuate their homes as flames continued to rise, warning of a major wildfire attack. which ravaged vast expanses of the region.
Officials say the fire, which has been progressing slowly, is now only 15 km (10 miles) northwest of the city and could reach the outskirts by Saturday if it is not contained. Rain,
Cars crowding the city highways posing as passengers ordered to be evacuated by road or air Concerns grew on Thursday that roads could be cut as the fire gets closer.
As the BBC reported, officials assured there was enough time to evacuate, however, the chaos caused roads to be blocked for hours and many passengers complained they were turned away from flights that were already full. Was
But by noon local time, only 400 people had been evacuated from Yorkshire, said Amy Kennedy, the government’s director of communications.
Later, around 10 evacuation planes took nearly 1,500 people out of the city on Thursday and there were about 22 flights on Friday, while a large number of people moved by road, officials said.
The authorities urged the returnees to try again on Friday.
Ms Kennedy wrote, “We understand that this is very frustrating for those who have been in line for several hours and will have to line up again tomorrow.”
Ms Kennedy said people with mobility issues and those with weakened immune systems had been moved up the queue.
The evacuees also raised concerns that despite rising demand, the flight carriers were raising prices.
Later, two of Canada’s largest airlines said they were adding flights from Yellowknife and cutting fares after an outcry on social media.
About 65 percent of the 46,000 population of the Northwest Territories must be evacuated.
Thick smoke enveloped Yellowknife on Thursday as water bombers skimmed low over the town. However, light rain and winds slowed down the fire, which progressed only a kilometer on Thursday amid concerns that conditions would worsen over the next two days.
“There are very tough days ahead, with two days of northwesterly to west-northwesterly winds pushing the fire toward Yellowknife,” the Territorial Fire Service said in a statement on Facebook.
Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) on Thursday, Defense Minister Bill Blair said the federal government is closely monitoring the evacuation and is ready to quickly evacuate residents by air if the land route is cut off.
Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alti said special teams were clearing trees close to town in an effort to stop the flames from spreading. He told the CBC he also planned to use fire retardant while making sure sprinkler systems were working.
Canada is facing its worst wildfire season this year, with more than 1,000 active fires burning across the country, 265 of them in the Northwest Territories. So far, about 134,000 km² (52,000 sq mi) of land has been scorched in Canada, more than six times the 10-year average.
Experts say the worsening climate crisis and record-breaking global temperatures have exacerbated the problem of wildfires. This year has seen unusually high temperatures and dry conditions across much of Canada, along with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.
Additional reporting by agencies