BRITISH Columbia’s wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency has been formally extended, through the end of the day on September 12.
The Province declared a state of emergency on August 15. The state of emergency will be in effect for an additional 14 days, and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.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. 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.
As of Wednesday 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.
The Province’s 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.
* Declarations of provincial states of emergency may be issued by the minister responsible, or the lieutenant governor in council, under the Emergency Program Act.
* The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further periods of time.
* During the 2017 wildfire season, the Province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks, from July 7 to September 15. 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, to deal with wildfires.