Lightning triggers over 130 wildfires in Canada

Lightning triggers over 130 wildfire in Canada
Authorities in British Columbia have recorded more than 130 wildfires, like this one in Kamloops. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: More than 130 wildfires are burning across western Canada following a record-breaking heatwave. Many of the wildfires are sparked by lightning strikes –

Canada’s federal government said in a statement that it would send military aircraft to help crews battling the fires in the province of British Columbia.

People had to flee the village of Lytton earlier this week.

Lytton, which recorded Canada’s highest ever temperature of 121.3F (49.6C) on Tuesday, was destroyed by fire.

The blaze in the village – about 160 miles (260km) north-east of Vancouver – forced many of its 250 residents to leave without their belongings on Wednesday evening.

Mayor Jan Polderman said: “Within about 15 minutes the whole town was engulfed in flames.”

In recent days, abnormally high temperatures have been recorded in swathes of North America.

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, according to experts. However, linking any single event to global warming is complicated.

The British Columbia Wildfire Service said on Friday that 136 fires were active across the province following some 12,000 lightning strikes the previous day.

Some officials are quoted as saying the fires now number more than 150.

Hundreds of people have been warned they may have to leave their homes as wildfires will became a threat to them.

Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Defence Minister, said the government would provide aid, including military helicopters and personnel, to help tackle the fires and reach people threatened by the flames.

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