Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the ongoing wildfire situation.
In effect across the province for at least 14 days starting July 21st, the emergency declaration helps to coordinate federal, provincial and local resources.
Currently, there are at least 299 wildfires burning in B.C. and 40 evacuation orders affecting approximately 5,724 people. This is in addition to 69 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 32,076 people.
More than 3,180 firefighters and resource staff including 1,080 contractors and 135 out-of-province resources are currently actively engaged in fighting fires across the province.
Announcing the emergency, Farnworth said, “In a briefing last night, I received word that we’ll be facing a few days of very difficult weather in the Interior. This declaration will address the potential of a mass evacuation scenario and provide our government with the means to secure the accommodation spaces necessary to house our citizens, if necessary.”
The current weather forecast calls for heightened wind activity with continued hot and dry conditions in the Interior and southeastern B.C.