By: Thomas I. Likness
EBC News Service
(Eagle News) — The hot, dry conditions in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have prompted to the federal government to put restrictions on trains operating in the region.
“Unprecedented weather conditions in British Columbia continue to pose a serious threat to public safety and railway operations,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Sunday on Twitter. “To address safety concerns, I announced precautionary measures.”
Both Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway have been ordered reduce train speeds and ensure they can respond to any fires detected along their tracks within one hour.
If they can’t control the fire, they must notify the nearest fire service.
In areas with an extreme fire risk, the two railways must conduct at least 10 fire protection patrols every 24 hours.
As well, they must remove combustible materials, such as vegetation, from the tracks and conductors are required to report any fire they spot.
The restrictions remain in effect until the end of October.
Earlier this month a wildfire destroyed the village of Lytton, three hours northeast of Vancouver. Two people died in that fire.
Wildfires threaten several other communities.
Western Canada has been baked by high temperatures for a couple of weeks now.
The heat and dry conditions are expected to continue for at least another week.
(Eagle News Service)