Hundreds of wildfires ravage Canada's British Columbia | world | Hindustan Times
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Hundreds of wildfires ravage Canada's British Columbia

world Updated: Aug 02, 2009 09:54 IST

AFP
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More than 500 fires are raging out of control in British Columbia, fueled by dry forests and record-high temperatures, the premier of the Canadian western province said.

"Our province is facing the highest levels of wildfire risk in memory," Gordon Campbell, the province's premier, told the CBC network.

"Record high temperatures have created a serious situation. They can best be described as a tinder dry. The forests across this province are in probably the driest situation they've been that any of us can recall.

"Right now, there are 531 forest fires currently burning," Campbell said on Friday.

Evacuation orders have already been issued for some communities, CBC reported, while an additional 3,000 people were told to be ready to leave their homes.

The province is spending three million Canadian dollars (USD 2.8 million) a day fighting the blazes, the network reported.

Campbell asked area residents to abstain from entering the forest in order to avoid any risk of either being trapped in a forest fire or accidentally starting a new blaze.

A fire sparked by a lightning bolt that struck late Thursday near the Whistler ski resort, a venue of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was under control and the site remained open, an organizing committee official told AFP.