Canada wildfires disrupt industry, force 14000 from homes

Posted July 13, 2017

About 4,000 people evacuated and another 7,400 were told to prepare to leave their homes as fire swept through grassy foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday. At least 41 homes and 55 other buildings have been destroyed.

Several local crews have also been sent to other cities like Santa Maria where the Alamo Fire is threatening more than 100 structures and prompting mandatory evacuations.

The blaze burned almost 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) and injured four firefighters.

Imperial Metals says numerous roads used to access the site have been closed and if critical supplies such as fuel are no longer available, the mine may suspend operations altogether.

"I have received phone calls from my area residents that were saying it was taking half a day to get registered because of the lineups at MacArthur Island, but it's been a much-improved situation by changing it to TRU", he said.

"We've only committed one truck", said Ferguson.

Almost 4,000 people were forced to evacuate near 100 Mile House as a blaze threatened homes there.

Two Victorians are spearheading an effort to transport a load of supplies to people affected by wildfires in the Interior. States of emergency have been declared and people are being evacuated from their homes.

Tolko Industries Ltd. said on its Facebook page that its two Williams Lake locations, the Lakeview and Soda Creek mills, would not open Monday and managers would meet daily to determine whether to open going forward.

Rapidly spreading wildfires in Western Canada's British Columbia on Monday disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged equipment at a regional electric utility and forced thousands from homes in the interior of the province.

Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of B.C., said it's hard to say at this point how much damage the wildfires will inflict on the industry.

"I saw three of them and then I saw the fires they created as I drove by them", Mike MacKenzie, who was traveling through the area, told CBC News.

Glen Burgess of the BC Forest Service said he was optimistic about the progress made on the 150 Mile fire, particularly in the residential areas. It was 40 percent contained. We have approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the USA and 35 other countries.

"It's hard, it's rough", she said.

Shutdowns due to forest fires are something that the industry expects, said industry analyst Keta Kosman, but the suddenness of the West Fraser and Tolko actions come at an inopportune time for the North American market.

One of them, just east of San Jose, destroyed two homes before its growth was stopped.