An emergency management company, Safeguard, was deployed to help at the Shovel Lake fire then sent home three days later by BC Wildfire Service. (Photo Black Press)

As 534 wildfires burn, province extends state of emergency

The province has officially extended the state of emergency until Sept. 12, 2018.

The province has formally extended British Columbia’s wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency.

As of this morning, 534 wildfires are burning in B.C., with 34 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,200 people, plus 53 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 21,800 people.

A provincial state of emergency was declared on Aug. 15, 2018 and has now been extended through the end of the day on Sept. 12, 2018.

Emergency Management BC reports the state of emergency will be in effect for an additional 14 days, and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.

The state of emergency declaration will continue to apply to the entire province.

According to the province, this ensures that all needed resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated response to the wildfire situation and continue to ensure public safety, which remains the provincial government’s top priority.

Related: B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

Related: Emergency response firm owner shares his side of B.C. wildfire decision

The province states its decision to extend the provincial state of emergency will support the significant number of people who remain under evacuation orders and alerts.

The state of emergency gives agencies, such as Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the RCMP, the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect residents and their communities.

During the 2017 wildfire season, the province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks, from July 7 to Sept. 15, 2017. The state of emergency was extended four times.

The most-recent provincial declaration of state of emergency before the 2017 wildfire season was issued in August 2003, also issued to deal with wildfires.

Related: Rainfall, cooler temperatures bring some relief in wildfire-ravaged B.C.

Related: 2017 Provincial state of emergency declared

For information on evacuation orders and alerts, visit Emergency Info BC.

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@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca


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Photo taken Aug. 7, 2018 of the Island Lake wildfire burning through Francois Lake Provincial Park. Image: Facebook/John Calogheros

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