Forest / Wild Fire in Canada on July 09 2017 02:57 AM (UTC).
A seasoned British Columbia firefighter says he's never seen anything like the fast-moving wildfire that tore through his new home, leaving him and his neighbours scant seconds to escape. Wilfred Duncan moved into his friend's house on the Ashcroft Indian Reserve two weeks ago, only to watch the home burn down after the wildfire overwhelmed the community, destroying more than 30 buildings. Duncan is a retired forestry firefighter with 20 years of experience, but said the Ashcroft blaze was overwhelming. "There was no time to get scared," he said, speaking outside the evacuation services centre in Kamloops on Saturday. "We just reacted. There was no time to think. None." The Ashcroft fire, about 100 kilometres west of Kamloops, ballooned Friday from seven to 40 square kilometres, prompting officials to order Ashcroft and then nearby Cache Creek to evacuate. "The way that was coming, there was no stopping it," Duncan said. "We're talking dry sagebrush, dry grass. What's going to stop that? That's just like lighting toilet paper on fire." More than 180 fires were burning in the province, many considered out of control, as the B.C. government declared a provincewide state of emergency to co-ordinate the crisis response. The BC Wildfire Service says over 173 fires were reported on Friday alone as lightning storms rolled over several parts of B.C.