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Over 200 wildfires break out in Canada, in country's worst fire season in decades

Officials are encouraging people to leave by car and carpool if possible in order to reduce traffic. 

Published: August 18, 2023 5:00pm

Updated: August 18, 2023 7:51pm

Thousands of Canadian residents are evacuating the country's Northwest territories to escape 200 wildfires in the region. 

“Critical, challenging days ahead – with two days of northwest to west-northwest winds on Friday and Saturday, which would push fire towards Yellowknife,” reads a post on the country's government fire-monitoring Facebook account.

The Canadian Armed Forces are assisting with firefighting and airlifting efforts, and the Royal Canadian Air Force has been deployed, according to CNN.

“We’re all tired of the word unprecedented, yet there is no other way to describe this situation in the Northwest Territories,” Premier Caroline Cochrane said in a statement.

To be sure, so far this year, over 101,800 square kilometers of land have burned in Canada as a result of wildfires, more reportedly than in any Canada fire season since 1990. They notably this summer sent thick smoke into major U.S. cites, resulting in dangerous-air-quality warnings.

Officials this week are encouraging people to leave by car and carpool if possible in order to reduce traffic. 

“Evacuation flights should be used as a last resort for those who do not have the option to evacuate by road,” territory officials stated.

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