British Columbia appeals for help as wildfires rage

STORY: A second firefighter has been killed in Canada, as the country battles what looks set to be its worst wildfire season on record.

Some 24 million acres - an area the size of Belgium and Ireland combined - has been burned since May.

Much of that has been in British Columbia, where authorities are appealing for more international firefighters.

They're also hoping the Canadian armed forces will be sent in to help.

Sarah Budd is the provincial information officer of the British Columbia Wildfire Service.

She says the situation there is unprecedented.

"Right now, there are 373 fires currently burning across the Province of B.C. We have 23 wildfires that we call a wildfire of note currently burning. Those are wildfires that are, that have, the potential to pose a risk to public safety, communities, people, critical infrastructure or that are highly visible, just so that we're sharing enough information that people understand what's going on with those incidents. So far this year in British Columbia, we've had over 1100 wildfires. And you can compare that to a ten-year average of 620.."

Perhaps a sign of how bad things have got, smoke from the wildfires has covered the city of Edmonton in Western Canada.

It's also continuing to flow south across the border into the United States, where Monday saw hazy skies in South Dakota, as well as Washington, D.C.