B.C.’s wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency has been formally extended again, through the end of day on Sept. 15, 2017.
This is the fourth time the state of emergency has been extended, with previous extensions on July 19, Aug. 4, and Aug. 18.
The state of emergency declaration will continue to apply to the whole province. This ensures that federal, provincial and local 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 well, the Province remains committed to provide ongoing, direct financial support to evacuees, with $600-per-household funding, which will be renewed every 14 days until evacuees return home. Eligible small businesses affected by the fires can also now receive a $1,500 emergency grant through the Canadian Red Cross and Province.
As of this morning, there are 160 wildfires burning in B.C, with 16 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,622 individuals, plus 39 evacuation alerts impacting approximate 13, 670 people.
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, under the Wildfire Act, to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect residents and their communities.
- Declaration of provincial states of emergency may be issued by the minister responsible under the Emergency Program Act.
- The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further period of time.
- The last provincial declaration of state of emergency before the current wildfire situation was issued in August 2003 to deal with wildfires.