Canadian Wildfires: City of Yellowknife Evacuated Due to Flames

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20 Aug 2023 8:35 AM

Above - The McDougall Creek wildfire in British Columbia is one of many fires burning in Canada prompting evacuations.

The entire city of Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories of Canada has been evacuated due to the fast-moving Behchoko/Yellowknife Fire. It is about 9 miles from the city boundary (as of 11 AM PT Friday morning). Fire activity is expected to be extreme this weekend, prompting officials to evacuate the capital ahead of potential explosive fire development.

Firefighters have been battling the blaze since it began, and have had progress in the last two days, holding the fire back from extreme progression. Officials are working to reinforce the perimeter around the city so flames aren't able to jump into communities. Still, embers could be carried by the wind, setting spot fires within the city of Yellowknife. Airtankers in addition to hand crews are working proactively to prevent fire development in the city.

In British Columbia, the town of West Kelowna was evacuated as the McDougall Creek wildfire jumped Okanagan Lake overnight. This fire is roughly 17k acres as of Friday afternoon and is burning out of control.

Smoke from the Canadian wildfires will impact the northern U.S. today for the PNW as winds shift from the west to the northwest. Smoke from wildfires in the PNW will also make for poor air quality. If you are sensitive to the smoke, stay indoors and wear a mask to filter the particulates if you must go outside.

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