Wildfires lead to mass evacuation of Yellowknife

Wildfires lead to mass evacuation of Yellowknife

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The nearest evacuation center is in Alberta, 1,150 kilometers (700 mi) away, where several sites have been established.

“We’re going to keep moving until we get the population of Yellowknife out,” emergency services officer Jennifer Young said at a briefing.

Air Canada pilot Chad Blewett, who flew one of the first relief flights from the lakeside town, told public broadcaster CBC that Yellowknife “is already pretty empty.”

The vagrants were mostly essential workers, he said, “building fire extinguishers and working with airlines (to facilitate) evacuations.”

As the flames continue to move toward Yellowknife, crews work hard to contain rescues, while water bombers are seen flying low over the city.

Mike Westwick, fire information officer for the Northwest Territories, said late Thursday that strong winds over the next two days will drive fires already within a few kilometers of the city’s perimeter “in directions we don’t want.”

Several military aircraft with more than 120 troops have already been dispatched to help bring the fire under control.

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