BC RCMP deploy to provide support in response to wildfire impacts

Police vehicle at an intersection with emergency lights on and wildfire in the background at night. Photos: submitted

AS an increasing number of people are being evacuated from their homes due to the various encroaching and fast-moving wildfires throughout the province, the BC RCMP say they are deploying additional resources to secure evacuated areas.

Since April, the BC RCMP have been engaged with various natural disasters across the province and continue to move the necessary resources, such as RCMP personnel, specialized services and equipment, into communities that have been directly affected by challenges like flooding, mudslides and wildfires. Over the last couple of days, particularly in Southern BC, federal, provincial and municipal resources mobilized within minutes and hours of the urgent need.

RCMP employees in the Division Emergency Operation Centre.

The  BC RCMP say that in addition to supporting their partners with going door-to-door evacuating residents, RCMP officers will be busy securing evacuation routes and conducting frequent static and roving patrols in evacuated areas to secure properties from criminal activity. The RCMP will only leave an evacuated area in the event continued wildfire activity threatens officer safety, but only to pull back to re-establish a new secure zone. Once it’s safe to do so, officers will return to maintain security.

“I want to reassure those who have been evacuated that the BC RCMP will do everything in our power to keep your homes and properties secure,” says Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, Commanding Officer of the BC RCMP.

“While we are deploying to affected areas, core policing continues without interruption in the communities our officers originate. Plans are also in place adjust frontline response should normal routes or areas be cut off,” said McDonald. “Our Division Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and is tasked with coordinating resource requests, logistics, planning, and support services including the safety and wellness of BC RCMP employees that are also impact by alerts and orders.”

Police officers watch smoke billowing from a nearby wildfire at a checkpoint.

The BC RCMP ask that everyone subject to an Evacuation Order or Alert, leaves the area safely and effectively by the established evacuation routes. Police also ask that evacuees respect the various checkpoints and to exercise caution and patience.