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Posted: August 17, 2021

Provincial state of emergency extended to August 31

The Government of British Columbia has extended the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on Aug. 31, to support the ongoing co-ordinated response to the wildfire situation and to ensure public safety.

“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. “As we renew this state of emergency for another two weeks, 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.”

As of the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 17, 263 wildfires are burning in B.C., with 86 evacuation orders affecting approximately 8,262 properties. There are 125 evacuation alerts affecting approximately 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.”

The province’s decision to extend the provincial state of emergency will support the significant number of people who remain under evacuation orders and alerts and continues to support the potential of even larger-scale evacuations.

Current fire 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.

The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible as necessary.

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