Provincial state of emergency declared as wildfires rage

Evacuation alerts and orders have been issued for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton. These are in addition to the evacuation orders and alerts issued yesterday for 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House.

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This wildfire near 100 Mile House grew from about 500 hectares on July 6 to over 1,500 hectares on July 7. Photo: B.C. Wildfire Service

The B.C. government has declared a state of emergency after 56 wildfires were started on Friday, July 7.

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC, announced the provincial state of emergency on July 7 to “ensure a co-ordinated response to the current wildfire situation and to ensure public safety.”

Evacuation alerts and orders have been issued for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton. These are in addition to the evacuation orders and alerts issued yesterday for 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House. The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province.

Given the current wildfire situation and the expected increase in wildfire activity, the province “is taking this extraordinary measure of declaring a provincial state of emergency.”

This is an urgent situation and provincial authorities say public safety is the top priority. The Province will continue to keep the public informed in this rapidly evolving situation.

The state of emergency gives agencies such as Emergency Management BC, the Fire Commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the RCMP authority under the Emergency Program Act to take necessary action to fight wildfires and protect residents and their communities.

The wildfire situation is much calmer in the Southeast of B.C. There are currently five active wildfires, but only two are larger than a hectare. The largest, called the Woden Creek fire is just south of Burton, B.C. That fire is 100% contained.

A campfire ban went into effect at noon on Friday in Southeast B.C.

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