B.C declared a provincial state of emergency Wednesday to support the province-wide response to the ongoing wildfire situation.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, according to a news a release made the declaration based on the recommendation from B.C.’s wildfire and emergency management officials.
“The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days, once issued, and may be extended or rescinded as necessary,” Farnworth said.
“The state of emergency applies to the whole province and ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a coordinated response to protect the public, which remains the provincial government’s top priority.”
Officials said as of Tuesday, August 15, there were 566 wildfires burning in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people (1,521 properties), in addition to 48 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 18,720 people (9,359 properties).
Currently, more than 3,372 firefighters and contractors are actively engaged in fighting fires in all fire regions of the province as well as Canada, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand.
“Given the unpredictable behaviour of wildfires and the number of significant wildfires in all areas of the province, we’re bringing in the additional resources we need to keep people and communities as safe as possible,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“We’re asking British Columbians to do their part and follow burning bans and restrictions to prevent human-caused fires.”