Montreal (AFP) - Firefighters were battling more than a hundred blazes in western Canada on Saturday as authorities in British Colombia province were forced to extend a state of emergency for a second time.
Officials said the state of emergency would remain in effect until August 18 to ensure the continued flow of resources to fight the forest fires and protect the public.
The state of emergency was first put into effect July 7, and extended for the first time on July 19.
Most of the 46,000 people who were forced to flee during that period have been able to return to their homes, but 7,000 are still subject to evacuation orders, the authorities said.
The provincial government says it will provide Can$ 600 per family forced to evacuate every two weeks until they are able to go home.
As of Saturday, there were still 122 active fires in British Columbia. Some 3,800 firefighters, including 600 from other Canadian provinces, have been mobilized. And Mexico said it would send 108 firefighters to help out as well.
Since April, more than 500,000 hectares (1.3 million acres) have been blackened by 868 forest fires in British Columbia.