BC to enter longest state of emergency in its history


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC is about to hit a record for the longest state of emergency in the province’s history.

“I believe we were six weeks in the 2003 wildfire season so yes, this would be the longest provincial declaration in the history of the province,” says Chris Duffy with Emergency Management BC.

The province decided to extend the declaration by another two weeks, as it was originally set to expire today. Instead, the state of emergency will now carry through September 1st.

This is the third extension since July 19th, as fires continue to burn through a record amount of land. The initial state of emergency was declared by on July 8.

The extension gives the province access to more resources to combat the more than 140 wildfires still burning across the province.

Weather concerns still loom

Meanwhile, it’s going to be another weekend of watchfulness across much of the Interior.

A cold front forecast for the Cariboo Fire Centre is expected to bring strong winds with speeds up to 60 kilometers an hour. The unstable weather is forecast for most of southern and central BC — all conditions that firefighters say have the potential to kick up flames.

According to the province, winds could cause existing fires to grow and new ones to spread.

“Firefighting crews have spent the last few days preparing for these expected conditions, but containment efforts will be challenged by this wind activity,” reads a release by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement. The system is also forecast to carry isolated lightning storms with little rain.

Wildfires and your travel plans

Unless your plans include heading into the Cariboo region, your vacation plans may not be affected by the fires currently burning through much of the province. According to the BC Wildfire Service, most of the province’s most popular vacation spots remain unaffected by the fires.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful, especially with the strong winds and possible thunderstorms expected in parts of the province.

Campfires are still banned, off road vehicles are still restricted in many areas, but in general just wanting people to be cautious when they are in the back country,” says Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek.



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