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Canada wildfire: 20,000 people, residents of Yellowknife evacuating

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In Canada, the northern city of Yellowknife is witnessing a mass evacuation by road and air, ahead of an approaching wildfire. This comes after an evacuation order was issued by the authorities on Wednesday night. Yellowknife is the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories with a populataion of around 20,000 people.

All the residents of Yellowknife have been urged  to leave the city by Friday noon, as the fire was just 15 kilometers north-west of Yellowknife yesterday. It is expected to reach the outer districts of Yellowknife by Saturday if there is no rainfall.  The country’s two major airlines are facing criticism over soaring air fares and rescheduling fees. 

Many People who waited in long queues to board flights yesterday were turned away as all the flights were packed. They were told to try again today and tomorrow. On the other hand, people driving hundreds of miles to safety are aslo waiting in long lines of traffic that has clogged the only road out of Yellowknife. Different warnings have been issued for other regions as well due to raging wildfire across the country.

Communication issues, fast-spreading rumours and Facebook news ban have disrupted evacuation efforts by residents, as it has made it difficult for them to stay updated. People are relying on word-of-mouth and the radio to get the latest information.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to hold emergency meeting with ministers and officials on the crisis. The group comprises of senior officials and ministers, and meets in cases of crisis. Fire crews are battling to prevent wildfires across the country while army is providing support and help to protect affected communities.

Canada is enduring its worst-ever wildfire season this year, with more than 1,000 active fires burning across the country, including 236 in the Northwest Territories. Scientists and Experts have pointed to climate change, global warming, drought, lightning as well as human activities as the reason for the wildfires across the region.

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