Canada is experiencing its worst wildfire season of the 21st century.
Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced the grim milestone Monday, saying more than 47,000 square kilometres have burned so far this year, with 431 wildfires currently burning across Canada.
One of those continues to threaten the Alberta community of Edson, where 8,400 residents remain under an evacuation order issued Friday.
Hundreds of people in B.C. have either been forced from their homes or are under an evacuation alert as the 4,660-square-kilometre Donnie Creek blaze continues to rage, having grown to be the second largest ever recorded wildfire in the province.
A massive fire in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia, remains out of control, although officials say the 235-square-kilometre Barrington Lake wildfire is no longer growing.
Teams with the province’s Department of Natural Resources will be flying over the fire in southwest Nova Scotia this week and will use infrared scanners to detect areas where firefighters should be dispatched.
About 5,000 firefighting personnel from multiple countries have been deployed across Canada to help battle the flames, and hundreds more are expected to arrive from Chile, Costa Rica, Spain and Portugal in the coming days.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2023.