By Katrina de Schiffert and Susan Ponting
The satellite pictures from the Deimos-1 of the spreading B.C. wildfires are devastating.
People and wildlife have been forced to flee the aggressively spreading wildfires in parts of British Columbia.
Context spoke with a firefighter on the ground battling the blaze, and two other people who have witnessed the widespread destruction.
Berni Vandermeer, a Forest pathology student, living in Vancouver says, “It’s cleared up pretty well now, but when the smoke was thickest it was like walking around in a campfire. Everything smelled smoky and you couldn’t see the mountains at all or even the big tankers in the bay. The sun was red in the day and the moon was red at night.”
The State of Emergency in B.C officially ended on September 7
495 fires are currently burning across the province. B.C Wildfire Services tweeted, “Now that it is September and fall is just around the corner, the Kamloops Fire Centre would like to remind everyone that even though conditions are changing and temperatures have been cooler, there is still potential for new wildfires to start.”
Over 40,000 firefighters, have been on the ground in B.C fighting the fires, over 900 of them from out of province – some from as far away as Austrailia, New Zealand, and Mexico.
A firefighter on the ground told Context, “It’s rewarding to work in a job that has you put your efforts toward something that is above yourself. The job makes us become comfortable with the uncomfortable.”
The wildfires burned 12,985 sq. kilometers of land in 2018, breaking the 2017 record of 12,161.
The devastating fires have caused over 3,000 people to be evacuated and over 18,000 people were on evacuation alert. Many people have been able to return to their homes, while approximately 4,848 people are still effected by evacuation alerts.
Although the fires are concentrated in B.C., their affects have been seen in neighbouring province, Alberta. Samantha Zeffer was at the Cochrane Fair and says, “you could see the smoke and smell it, too, it was really thick, and the sky looked an orange colour.” Cochrane is built in a valley, and Zeffer says you couldn’t see the other side of it. Her brother, a landscaper who works in the, says he felt like he was, “smoking all day” while he worked.
Weather Nation posted a video on Twitter on August 17 showing the orange skies in Prince George.
Click here to see the video.
On September 7, lighting caused 20 new wildfires in northwestern Ontario. There are currently 57 fires in northwest of the province and 11 in the northeast.
The wildfires are under control and observation. The forest fire hazard is high across the northwestern and much of the northeastern region.
In 2018 there has been a total of 1,277 wildfires in Ontario, a drastic increase from the 2017 season which saw 706 wildfires.
Source: deimos imaging from the deimos -1 satellite