Screenshot from a video posted by Janelle Lapointe on 14 August 2018, showing the sky darkened by smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia. 'It’s only 3PM but the smoke decided it was night time.' Photo: Janelle Lapointe

By Imogen Birchard and John McGill
15 August 2018

(CBC Radio) – Trevor Chapman was forced to abandon his trailer park in Fraser Lake, B.C., as the wildfires around his home grew.

On Wednesday, the British Columbia government declared a state of emergency. Over 560 fires are burning across the province and thousands of people are under evacuation orders.

Chapmanspoke with As It Happens guest host Matt Galloway. Here is part of their conversation.

Here is part of their conversation.

At what point, Trevor, did you decide this is it, I got to get out of here?

My son had called me and basically told me to get myself a truck and get out.

What did it look like at that time?

Once it flared up, it was really bad. And you know, living in a trailer park, where you can't get insurance on your belongings or anything like that, you basically have no choice but to pack and leave — and hopefully it's still standing when you return.

What does really bad look like?

Well, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon it's suppose to be sunny and 27 degrees. Well, it looked like midnight. The awful pink and red glow in the sky was enough to give your head a shake and go, "Yeah okay, it's time to go." [more]

Afternoon skies look 'like midnight' in B.C. as wildfires rage, says evacuee


Fire danger map for British Columbia on 14 August 2018. With over 560 fires burning, BC continues to experience heightened BC wildfire activity. 3370 personnel are supporting ongoing wildfire response efforts. Graphic: BC Wildfire Service

15 August 2018 (BBC News) – A state of emergency has been declared by the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) as it battles more than 560 wildfires.

It will be in place across the entire western province for at least 14 days.

Hot and dry conditions, with a risk of thunderstorms in some parts of BC, are expected to continue over the coming days.

This is the second year in a row the province has battled significant wildfires on parts of its territory.

Over 3,000 people are under evacuation orders and another 18,700 are under evacuation alerts.

Fires are active throughout entire parts of the province.

"Public safety is always our first priority and, as wildfire activity is expected to increase, this is a progressive step in our wildfire response to make sure British Columbia has access to any and all resources necessary," said provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in a statement on Wednesday.

This is the second state of emergency in 15 years declared by the province over wildfires.

Last year, BC was under a 10-week state of emergency to deal with blazes that eventually burned through 1.2 million hectares [4,633 square miles] of the province.

Parts of the province's lower mainland and the city of Vancouver have been shrouded in smoke from the fires, prompting public health warnings. [more]

Canada's British Columbia wildfires prompt state of emergency

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