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Around 1,000 people had to evacuate their homes after dense smoke from forest fires sent plumes of toxic ash into the air
Several containers have caught fire and exploded on a cargo ship docked off the coast of British Columbia.
Authorities were on the scene late on Sunday and evacuated homes at Bella Bella and around 130,000 people were told to stay indoors and follow their local authorities’ advice about possible air quality.
“No injuries have been reported so far,” British Columbia’s provincial government tweeted.
The crash is one of the worst for ships off the coast of Canada since 2016, when 5,000 tonnes of dry cleaning chemicals in one container exploded in the water near Vancouver’s shoreline, washing over the city and forcing evacuations.
A New Westminster, British Columbia official said on Sunday night some residents might have to evacuate their homes again on Monday morning.
British Columbia declared a state of emergency last week as its worst fire season in history pushed the state to the brink of “an ecological and economic meltdown”.
The province has declared the situation a disaster area as tens of thousands of people were asked to leave their homes amid flames threatening communities on the slopes of the Coast Mountains.
In a letter, British Columbia Premier John Horgan asked Washington state to reinstate a wildfire grant program that had expired.
In May, the British Columbia government called off its wildfire season two months early, saying that there was a near certainty of another record level of “exceptional fires”.
Worst fire season in US history spreads across the west Read more
The western US state has seen more than 500 wildfires since the start of the year.
The emergency declaration has been applauded by local governments as well as other Canadian provinces, from Alberta to Newfoundland and New Brunswick.