By: The Working Forest Staff
VICTORIA – B.C.’s wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency has been formally extended again, through the end of the day on Sept. 1, 2017. This is the third time the state of emergency has been extended, with previous extensions on July 19 and Aug. 4.
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, being 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 Aug. 18, there were 138 wildfires burning in B.C., with 27 evacuation orders affecting approximately 4,400 individuals, plus 40 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 20,700 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.
Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation at www.bcwildfire.ca.