Wildfires in Canada & U.S. ‘Still Active’

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 22, 2014 1:06 PM EST

More than 1000 Canadian residents of British Columbia, who had to evacuate due to wildfire, were allowed to return to their homes. They were, on the other hand, asked to be prepared for further evacuation, if required. The residents were evacuated on Sunday, July 20.

Reuters
The Mount McAllister wildfire burns 34 miles (56 km) west of Chetwynd in British Columbia, in this handout photo taken July 14, 2014. The fire has consumed an estimated 39,535 acres (16,000 hectares).

Emergency Info B.C. issued an official statement on the reason why the residents should be further prepared. It said that the wildfire was still active. "The Smith Creek Fire is still active, and residents returning to their homes will remain on evacuation alert and should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice," the statement said.

According to the Wildfire Management Branch, the crew worked brilliantly on the emergency situation and could make "excellent progress." However, there was still a lot of work to be done as around 260 hectares remained affected by the wildfire even after 50 per cent of the fire had been contained. The efforts of the 200 fire-fighters were further assisted by cool weather and rain. Officials were able to downgrade several fire danger ratings related to moderate or low.

The wildfire, which is suspected to have been caused by humans, drove hundreds of residents of Canada and the United States from their houses. The situation is more serious in Washington where 248,775 acres got burned due to the wildfire. According to the Washington state Department of Natural Resources, around 80 houses were destroyed. Mobile phone services in the area were also disconnected. However, there were no reported injuries.

According to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, the entire Pateros with around 650 residents was evacuated. Most of the houses reportedly caught fire. "We were sitting down below the hill and the wind shifted, and within half of an hour the backside of the town was burning," said the Sheriff. Rogers also said that winds are agitating the fire in several parts in the county bordering British Columbia.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: Reuters / )
The Mount McAllister wildfire burns 34 miles (56 km) west of Chetwynd in British Columbia, in this handout photo taken July 14, 2014. The fire has consumed an estimated 39,535 acres (16,000 hectares).
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