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Raging Wildfires Trigger Mass Evacuation in Northern Canada

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Wildfires have forced an evacuation of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories. 

Officials with the territorial government told residents in the highest risk areas to evacuate immediately. Other residents have until 12 p.m. local time on Friday to leave the city of about 20,000.

Depending on smoke conditions, those leaving by car will be escorted through the active fire zone, officials said. Residents who can’t leave by road are being asked to register for evacuation flights.

Read More: What Remains After the Flames: Scenes From the Ash-Colored Streets of Maui

For some, it will be the second exodus in recent days. Evacuees from the remote communities of Hay River and Fort Smith were already being housed in Yellowknife, according to an update Tuesday. 

Canada is experiencing the worst wildfire season on record. More than 1,000 active fires are burning across the country of which more than 670 are out of control, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. So far, 13.7 million hectares have burned, far exceeding the 1995 record of 7.1 million hectares.

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