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Forest Fire Forces Evacuation Of 6,500 Homes In Western Canada

Raw video : VANCOUVER, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The forest fire in Kelowna, Canada's western province of British Columbia (B.C.), is spreading rapidly, forcing emergency evacuation of 6,500 homes and damaging nine houses, the provincial Ministry of Forests said Sunday.

Spurred by the dry conditions, strong wind and hot weather, the fire, which was first reported just before 3 p.m. local time Saturday, has quickly swelled from initial 15 hectares to about 300 hectares as of Sunday.

So far, at least nine homes have been destroyed, according to provincial Forests Minister Pat Bell. He said the fire has the potential to be worse than a devastating fire six years ago in that area that destroyed more than 200 homes.

Evacuation orders have been put in place for communities in the affected area, Jenelle Turpin of the B.C. Ministry of Forests' emergency operations center said. About 17,000

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Added: Jul-20-2009 
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