Wildfire forces hundreds of people to flee in western Canada

OTTAWA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A wildfire raged out of control in Canada's western province of Alberta, prompting evacuation of hundreds of people, according to CTV Tuesday.

The wildfire burned through to about 20,000 hectares overnight in southwestern Alberta. It tore through Waterton Lakes National Park and reached the townsite, but the majority of buildings appear to be intact.

The unexpected and rapid advance of the wildfire overnight forced hundreds of people in neighbouring communities to flee as local government issued evacuation orders.

Some 200 firefighters have been battling in Waterton for days against the wildfire, which started nearly two weeks ago after a lightning strike in the Flathead Valley just across the border in British Colombia province.

However, high winds generated extreme fire behaviour for several hours through Monday night and early Tuesday morning, fanning the flames in tinder-dry conditions.

Alberta Emergency Services issued a mandatory evacuation order late Monday evening for residents of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 just north of the park.

Cardston County nearby declared a state of emergency and told residents to head to the civic centre in the town of Cardston.

Parks Canada said as of Monday afternoon, the fire covered about 114 square kilometres.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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