Wildfires and Flooding Plague British Columbia

Image by Ellend1022 from Getty Images

As a result of a week-long heatwave in western Canada, numerous wildfires have erupted in Alberta, causing thousands to evacuate their homes. Furthermore, the interior of British Columbia has seen flooding due to rapid snow melting. Over 13,000 individuals in Alberta were forced to evacuate due to 78 fires by Friday. One of the hardest-hit areas was the Little Red River Cree Nation, with the Fox Lake fire, burning through 1,458 hectares, consuming 20 homes and a police station.

On Thursday night, the entire population of Drayton Valley, located 140 km (87 miles) west of Edmonton, was ordered to evacuate due to a wildfire. Oil-gathering pipelines operated by Pembina Pipeline Corp, which is evaluating any potential operational impacts, are in the region but no impacts on oil and gas producers have been reported yet.

Western Canada faces record heat, wildfires, and flooding with more than 348 wildfires in Alberta this year burning over 25,000 hectares, while rivers have burst their banks, flooding homes and closing highways in British Columbia. The hot and windy weather is expected to worsen, causing extreme wildfire behavior. The region had a cold spring before unseasonably high temperatures hit, causing devastating wildfires and floods.

As western Canada faces a record-breaking heatwave and devastating wildfires, the British Columbia government is now warning of the risk of flooding due to heavy rain. The Ministry of Emergency Management has urged communities to prepare for the worsening situation as warm temperatures have accelerated snowmelt and increased pressure on rivers and creeks. The situation is expected to worsen as rainfall and thundershowers are forecast for the coming days, which raises the likelihood of flooding.

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