Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to fight Saskatchewan wildfires

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Vancouver is under a cloud of thick smog on July 6, 2015 as smoke from one of the numerous fires in the province of British Columbia pour into the bay city (AFP Photo/Franck Fife)
Canadian authorities are sending troops to help shore up firefighters\’ efforts to battle numerous wildfires in the country, after the blazes prompted the evacuation of thousands of people.
The defense ministry said it was preparing to send up to 1,400 personnel, including a firefighting force, to help fight the blazes in the central province of Saskatchewan where 13,000 people have been forced from their homes.
The west coast city of Vancouver was under a cloud of thick smog and a respiratory warning from officials as smoke from one of the numerous fires in the province of British Columbia poured into the bay city.
People with breathing conditions were advised to stay indoors to "reduce fine particulate exposure" from the smoke, province authorities said.
Unusually dry weather and high temperatures across western Canada have led to scores of fires.
So far this year, 565 fires have been reported — three times more than at the same time last year.
Several hundred fires, many raging uncontrolled, are burning in the country, local officials reported.
Of the 13,000 people who have been evacuated from Saskatchewan, about 5,000 of them have gone to the neighboring Alberta province.
Saskatchewan\’s numerous fires have monopolized many of the firefighting resources in the country, and authorities have even deployed the military.
The military said troops would help with firefighting efforts until provincial authorities can handle the situation on their own.
SOURCE: AFP

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