Canadian province battles over 180 wildfires

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Ottawa, July 9 (IANS) A state of emergency has been declared by the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) as it battles over 180 wildfires, the media reported.

The federal government said on Saturday that it is monitoring the situation closely and is ready to provide assistance upon request, reports the BBC.

According to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news report, an estimated 7,000 people had been forced from their homes.

It is the first state of emergency declared by the province in 14 years.

The BC Wildfire Service said that lightning, strong winds and high heat were all contributing factors in the spread of the wildfires burning across hundreds of kilometres.

The BC Wildfire Service said that the Gustafsen wildfire burning near 100 Mile House, a town about 400 km north of Vancouver, reached a estimated size of 3,200 hectares by Saturday afternoon. About 120 firefighters are battling that blaze.

British Columbia experiences up to 2,000 wildfires a year but the majority are contained within 24 hours.

–IANS

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