Headlines
Written by The Canadian Press
May 22, 2018, Brandon, Man. - Rural firefighters in communities surrounding Brandon, Man., chipped in to help stop a weekend blaze that destroyed three buildings and damaged an apartment building in the city's downtown.

Souris (SOO-riss) Glenwood volunteer fire chief Brian Parham says he was working on a farm 45 kilometres away and could see the smoke from the blaze filling the prairie sky. His department, along with firefighters from Wawanesa, Carberry and Canadian Forces Base Shilo helped fight the flames.

Usually, Parham said his department responds to highway crashes, and they're also trained for farm and river rescues. No one was hurt in the fire, but a 58-unit apartment building was seriously damaged.
Written by The Canadian Press
May 21, 2018, Toronto - Police say several horses are dead after two barns caught ablaze in north-end Toronto early morning on Monday, May 21. Firefighters say they arrived at Sunnybrook Stables at about 3 a.m. and found one barn fully engulfed in flames, and another starting to burn.

Neither police nor Toronto Fire Services could confirm the number of horses injured or killed, but said 13 of the animals survived. Police say some of the surviving horses were taken to the stables at Exhibition Place.

Sunnybrook Stables offers private and group horse-riding lessons, as well as summer camps. Fire services says they're investigating the cause of the fire.
Written by Global News
May 22, 2018, Vernon, B.C. - Two people are unaccounted for following a house fire in the Vernon area Monday morning. Global News reports. | READ MORE
Written by Global News
May 22, 2018, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Man. - A forest fire near Sapotaweyak Cree Nation has forced nearly a third of the community to evacuate. Global News reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
May 22, 2018, Toronto - Dozens of Toronto artists have lost thousands of dollars worth of work after a weekend fire gutted a well-known west end studio. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Brandon Sun
May 22, 2018, Brandon, Man. - One of Brandon’s oldest businesses is gone and hundreds of people were left homeless in what has been called the city’s worst fire in modern memory. The Brandon Sun reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
May 22, 2018, Rural Municipality of Grahamdale, Man. - A state of emergency has been declared in the RM of Grahamdale due to a forest fire burning between Ashern and Mulvihill, Man. Reeve Clifford Halaburda said officials declared the state of emergency at about 9:30 p.m. Monday. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Canadian Press
May 18, 2018, Grand Forks, B.C. - The first wave of 300 Canadian military personnel is being sent to British Columbia to help communities overwhelmed by floodwaters as parts of the province are expected to be hit with heavy rain following snowmelt from unseasonably warm weather.

The Canadian Armed Forces said staff from Joint Task Force Pacific and personnel from the 3rd Canadian Division based in Edmonton were to establish themselves in Vernon on Thursday before being deployed to areas affected by flooding including Grand Forks.

Officials in the southern Interior city say thunderstorms are expected to bring a second round of high water.

Chris Marsh of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said while water levels in the Granby, Kettle, and West Kettle rivers ebbed since a flood last week, the Kettle River rose 20 to 22 centimetres on Thursday and all three were dangerously high.

"They remain very, very high and of course the threat is that they'll continue to rise until Saturday," Marsh said.

Across the province, about 4,500 people have been forced out of their homes while 7,000 residents have been placed on evacuation alert as the threat of flooding rises, said Chris Duffy, executive director of Emergency Management BC.

Weather will continue to be a big factor into next week, said David Campbell, head of the province's River Forecast Centre.

"The prolonged nature and the severity of the temperatures that we've seen is unprecedented for this time of year and that's leading to flows that we have not seen in many decades," he said, adding weather in the southern parts of the province is the main concern in the short term.

Rain expected Thursday night and into Friday will push the risk of extreme flooding through the Similkameen, Okanagan, Shuswap and Boundary regions, he said.

Ralph Goodale, the federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said in a news release that members of the Armed Forces will help with evacuations, sandbagging and property protection.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said military personnel will be deployed to the areas of greatest need, including in the southern Interior.

Frances Maika, corporate communications officer at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, said some members of the Armed Forces could be put to work in Grand Forks as another surge of water was expected.

Environment Canada issued special weather statements Thursday, saying as much as 40 millimetres of rain could fall in the area by late Saturday.

"Last week, the Granby station picked up 52 millimetres of rain that was not in the forecast," Maika said. "Sometimes you can get these isolated showers, and if we get that, the river forecast model completely changes."

Celinda Galloway was told to leave her home in the Grand Forks neighbourhood of Ruckle, but she said she and her husband Ryan along with about 20 other residents are staying put in an effort to save their homes.

"Obviously they want us out," she said. "Our homes are salvageable."

Galloway said they built a berm of dirt and sandbags to protect their home, adding they've had some mud and water seep into their basement but damage has otherwise been minimal.

"If we left, nobody would have pumped our basement out."

Maika said she understands residents' frustration in the Ruckle neighbourhood but safety is the main priority.

"It's a low elevation area that was at definite risk of harm coming to people who remained there," she said.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary gave residents a 12-hour window to return to their homes to pick up any valuables left behind on Thursday. A news release from the district says properties along the banks of the surging Kettle River were at risk, and more evacuation orders were possible.

School District 51, which operates eight elementary schools, two secondary schools and a development centre in the Boundary region, closed all schools Thursday because of the potential for more flooding.

A state of local emergency was in effect across the entire neighbouring Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, which posted on its website that provincial agencies were closely monitoring the levels of Osoyoos Lake and preparing for evacuation orders if required.

In the Regional District of Central Kootenay, east of Grand Forks, evacuation alerts were expanded along two waterways, while firefighters from across the district were sent to the village of Salmo to help with sandbagging in anticipation of flooding there.
Written by Global News
May 18, 2018 - Federal wildfire researchers say most regions in Canada could be facing a long, hot, fiery summer. Global News reports | READ MORE
Written by The Canadian Press
May 18, 2018, Grand Forks, B.C. - Environment Canada has issued special weather statements covering the entire southeastern corner of British Columbia, including the flood-damaged Boundary region, as thunderstorms have the potential to add even more water to already raging rivers.

Forecasters call for as much as 40 millimetres of rain by Friday and there's concern about added damage caused by heavy downpours during localized thunderstorms.

A news release from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary says properties along the banks of the surging Kettle River are at risk and more evacuation orders are possible as rain and rapid snowmelt could lead to a second round of flooding.

School District 51, which operates eight elementary schools, two secondary schools and a development centre in the Boundary region, says all schools will be closed today because of the potential for sudden, serious flooding.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says the entire district is under a state of local emergency and provincial agencies are closely monitoring the levels of Osoyoos Lake and preparing for evacuation orders if required.

Farther east, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has expanded evacuation alerts along Erie Creek and the Salmo River, while firefighters from across the district have arrived in Salmo to help with sandbagging in anticipation of flooding in that village.

EmergencyInfoBC, the province's online link to emergency information, says rising river levels have prompted evacuation orders or alerts across eight regional districts and in 13 municipalities, communities or First Nations in British Columbia.
Written by The Canadian Press
May 18, 2018, Meadow Lake, Sask. - A wildfire has forced people from their homes in a west-central Saskatchewan community. Residents of the Waterhen Lake First Nation have been asked to evacuate due to an out of control fire burning nearby.

The province says 54 people are staying in Meadow Lake and 122 evacuees are staying in Saskatoon's Henk Ruys Soccer Centre, which the Red Cross has transformed into a shelter.

The fire is burning west of the community in Meadow Lake Provincial Park about 300 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. Fire crews backed by waterbombers have been fighting the blaze, but shifting winds and dry conditions are making it difficult.

Scott Wasylenchuk, the province's director of wildfire operations, says the fire continues to grow.

"There's lots of wind, so it challenged our lines in all directions," he said Wednesday. "There was some access concerns with the one road in and one road out."

Dale Martell, who lives on the reserve, says his community has been covered in smoke.

"At night we saw a flare-up on the tree top. The other morning it flared up again and that's when they called 'a state of emergency."

Martell said he was glad to get out of the smoke to ensure his 16-month-old daughter can breathe. Dry, warm and windy conditions prompted the province to impose a fire ban on Crown land from south of the Churchill River to the U.S. border.
Written by CBC News
May 17, 2018, Shuniah, Ont. - A train travelling on a Canadian Pacific rail line in Shuniah, just outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., was stopped temporarily Wednesday afternoon due to a wildfire burning on the tracks, Shuniah fire officials said. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
May 17, 2018, Gaspe, Que. - A fire in a student residence building at the CEGEP de la Gaspésie et des Îles's Gaspé campus was still burning Wednesday afternoon, hours after it began — forcing the evacuation of 280 students and shutting down the entire campus. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
May 17, 2018, Lac du Bonnet, Man. - Several people were forced from their homes Tuesday afternoon as another wildfire rages in parched eastern Manitoba. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by Blackburn News
May 16, 2018, Inwood, Ont. - The mayor of Brooke-Alvinston is assuring Inwood residents that there’ll be no gap in service following the mass resignation of the majority of the 20-member volunteer fire department. Blackburn News reports. | READ MORE
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