21 Aug 2010

Hundreds of forest fires beset British Columbia

6:01 pm on 21 August 2010

Nearly 4000 firefighters are battling hundreds of forest fires in Canada's west coast province of British Columbia.

The fires this year have burned through more forest than in any year since records began.

Choking smoke that has blanketed most of British Columbia has kept people indoors and grounded some regional flights.

Residents in some communities say the ash is falling like snow.

Smoke is also drifting into the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan hundreds of kilometres away.

About 300 fires are burning, with high winds and electrical storms threatening to spark new blazes.