British Columbia is declaring a state of emergency as wildfires threaten several communities across the province, Prime Minister David Eby has announced.
Officials are worried about weather conditions that could worsen an already catastrophic situation.
The situation was complicated and volatile, David Eby recalls.
In the last hour, we have visited 15,000 affected families with evacuation orders from 4,500 homes.
Easy to pick up
An emergency law would allow the province
The tools needed to support communities, families and the brave frontline workers fighting firessaid the Prime Minister.
What does state of emergency mean?
A state of emergency declared by the province is intended to signal the severity and deterioration of the wildfire situation.
Depending on the province, it is possible to issue specific orders and provide shelter, equipment or other resources needed to fight wildfires in the field.
By declaring a state of provincial emergency, we can take extraordinary measures, including executive orders restricting movement in certain areas, if people do not comply with the orders.Bovin Ma, the province’s emergency management and climate plan preparedness minister, says.
At this time, the level of cooperation between the levels of government is very important, the minister added.
British Columbia has experienced 1,849 wildfires since the start of the season.
If you receive an evacuation order, leave
If you have been ordered to evacuate, do not put firefighters at risk by staying homeasks the Prime Minister.
The province has asked travelers planning to stay in areas affected by wildfires to cancel their plans.
Roads must be cleared, emergency personnel, evacuees and shelters available for first responders.
The hosting challenge
More and more people are being evacuated and access to shelter is a growing challenge in the interior of the province. We need these homes to keep people safe and to house frontline workers like firefighters and health workers.Bovin Ma said.
Fire camps are subject to evacuation orders themselves.
Firefighters fighting the fire were evacuated from the campMinister of Emergency Management and Climate Preparedness said.
A fire near Kelowna continues to prompt multiple evacuation orders.
Photo: Radio-Canada / Winston Seto
From potential threat to immediate threat
In the past 24 hours, evacuation warnings have turned into evacuation orders.
Like dominoesBovin Ma says.
At this rate, we are moving from a possible threat to an imminent threat. This is incredibly disturbing.
He adds that the cold front will continue to cause unpredictable weather events, making firefighting more difficult.
An unprecedented season
British Columbia is experiencing the worst wildfire season in its history.
1,849 wildfires have been reported in the province since the start of the season. Of this number, 381 are currently active.
An area of 16,500 square kilometers was engulfed in flames, which is equivalent to 1.8% of the province’s area.
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