Canadians have crammed into a local airport and lined up along a major highway out of the Northwest Territories to escape approaching wildfires, a day after authorities warned the blazes were moving closer to the territory’s capital and largest city, Yellowknife.

The Canadian government said Prime Justin Trudeau Minister will convene an emergency committee, known as the Incident Response Group, on Thursday to discuss the wildfires – the latest in a series of widespread blazes to hit the country so far this year.

Authorities had called on Yellowknife’s nearly 20,000 residents to leave the city by Friday, and an evacuation order was also issued for surrounding communities.

“I have asthma and the wildfire smoke was making it increasingly difficult to do anything,” Tiffany Champagne, who was waiting for a flight at the Yellowknife airport, told Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC. “I’m just kind of mentally checked out at this point.”