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B.C. extends State of Emergency in response to wildfires

B.C.’s State of Emergency in response to wildfires burning across the province has been extended.

Government officials said current conditions may lead to continued severe fire behaviour and the potential for more evacuations.

“While extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act are not needed at this time, the declaration gives the Province the ability to move quickly, if the need arises,” said the province.

According to provincial officials, the State of Emergency will be extended until at least August 31st.

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“We’ve seen several large fires spread rapidly over the weekend in multiple communities throughout the province,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “I want to assure British Columbians that we’re taking every step possible to ensure the safety of everyone in these communities. We’re also asking travellers to stay away from fire-affected areas – those under evacuation order or alert – and consider travelling to other areas of B.C. until the situation stabilizes.”

Locally, firefighting efforts have paid off with some help from mother nature in the Bill Nye Mountain area, as the 2,990-hectare wildfire is now being held. Meanwhile, the Evacuation Alert around the Plumbob Mountain fire has been eased.

More: Evacuation Alert for Plumbob fire rescinded and Evacuation Order reduced to Alert (Aug 17, 2021)

More: Bill Nye Mountain wildfire classified as ‘being held’ (Aug 17, 2021)

As of Tuesday, over 260 wildfires are burning across B.C., with nearly 70 active fires in the Southeast region.

According to the B.C. Government, 86 Evacuation Orders are active across the province, impacting 8,262 properties, with 125 Evacuation Alerts affecting an estimated 22,729 properties.

“Wildfire crews and first responders are currently faced with incredible challenges as they fight multiple fires throughout our province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The best way we can support their efforts is to work together and follow evacuation orders and alerts because the safety of all British Columbians is our top priority.”

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