California fighting 560 wildfires, requests help from Canada and Australia

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  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday said that the state was now battling 560 fires, depleting firefighting forces and prompting calls for aid from not only 10 other states, but Canada and Australia as well.

    The lightning-sparked wildfires more than doubled in size on Friday into some of the largest in the state’s history, with one advancing to within a mile of the University of California Santa Cruz.

    The state has been hit by its worst dry-lightning storms in nearly two decades, resulting in close to 12,000 strikes which sent fire racing through lands left parched due to record-breaking heat. About 175,000 people have had to evacuate their homes, largely in northern California.

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    In This Story: Canada

    Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.

    Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Canada’s capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

    Various Indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. The Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government.

    As a highly developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks.

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  • In This Story: Lightning

    Lightning is a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. Lightning can occur between opposite charges within the thunderstorm cloud (intra-cloud lightning) or between opposite charges in the cloud and on the ground (cloud-to-ground lightning). (Source: NSSL)

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