A state of emergency has been declare in Canada’s western province of British Columbia after wildfires raged out of control.
Thousands of civilians were evacuate from the affected area to safer places on Friday, according to Reuters news agency.
Firefighters continue to battle a wildfires in the mountains above the town of West Kelowna.
West Kelowna has a population of about 36,000 and is located approximately 300 kilometres east of the province’s largest city, Vancouver.
After the forest fire spread in Kelowna, another nearby city, Okangan, which has a population of about 150,000, is also being declared under threat.
Reuters quote an eyewitness as saying flames and smoke could be see from west Kelowna. And smoke could be see everywhere in the valley around the lake.
Officials said the next 24 to 48 hours could be the most difficult. Earlier, the area’s airspace was close to allow water bombers to put out the fire.
“The situation has changed rapidly over the past 24 hours. And we are facing an extremely difficult situation in the coming days,” the British Columbia government said in a statement.
“We fought hard last night to protect our community,” West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Broland told reporters.
They said that the orange glow of the smoke clouds and the fire turned night into day.
More than 2,400 properties have been evacuate. And thousands more are on high alert for residents to evacuate at a moment’s notice if necessary, officials said.
He said several properties in West Kelowna were reduce to ashes due to the fire during the night.