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Flood and flames: An RV centre in Abbotsford is on fire, with hundreds of tightly packed vehicles under hydro lines

Residents of Abbotsford, B.C. near the RVs are being warned to keep their windows and doors closed

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Emergency officials in flooded Abbotsford, B.C., are trying to put out a large fire at an RV dealership.

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About 100 RVs, parked tightly together, are in flames and 40 firefighters are on the scene battling the blaze.

The blaze is near the currently flooded Highway 1, just east of Whatcom.

Officials say the fire is under high-voltage power lines, creating added danger.

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The Abbotsford News reported “loud continuous bangs” were heard in video of the fire; Twitter users suggested the sound arose from exploding propane fuel tanks.

Residents in the area are being told to keep their windows and doors closed to toxic smoke, and to avoid running air conditioning systems.

The area is currently under an evacuation order due to the ongoing flooding.

More than 180 Abbotsford residents stranded by flooding were rescued by air and water overnight Tuesday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said in an update early Wednesday.

The rescue follows a warning late Tuesday for residents in the Sumas Prairie area for all people to immediately evacuate the area, as a pump system was set to fail.

That included hundreds of farmers who had stayed back to take care of their livestock and birds after an evacuation order earlier because of initial flooding caused by an overflowing river just south of the border.

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The Barrowtown Pump Station — a four-pump station that keeps the Fraser River out of the Sumas Lake Canal and protects many square kilometres of prime agricultural land — remains critical and could fail.

Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Canadian Forces air support personnel will be sent to B.C. to help with evacuation efforts.

They will also assist in supporting supply chain routes and protecting residents against further floods or landslides, Blair said in a social media message.

Defence Minister Anita Anand confirmed Canadian Forces crews had been approved in response to a request for assistance from the B.C. government.

Provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the B.C. cabinet would meet Wednesday to consider whether to declare a provincewide state of emergency in response to floods, washouts and landslides.

Every major route between the Lower Mainland and the Interior has been cut by washouts, flooding or landslides following record-breaking rainfall across southern B.C. between Saturday and Monday.

The Canadian Press, with additional reporting by Vancouver Sun.




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