B.C. residents pack bags as wildfires rage

By Xiao Xu
The Globe and Mail
May 17, 2023
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, BC — Patrick Patterson quickly packed his suitcase after smoke settled over Fort St. John, a city that was placed under evacuation alert. …He said the last time the city of 21,000 experienced a wildfire threat to this magnitude was in 2016, when the Fort McMurray fire led to the evacuation of more than 90,000 people and destroyed 2,930 buildings. …He said the initial panic from Monday calmed by Tuesday, as winds died down and skies became clearer. However, the city remains under evacuation alert. The alert was trigged by the Stoddart Creek wildfire, which is an estimated 23,500 hectares as of Tuesday and suspected to be human-caused. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 60 active fires in B.C., of which 15 are out of control. According to the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, there were approximately 5,100 people across B.C. under an evacuation order as of Monday afternoon, and about 33,000 under an alert.

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