The B.C. government has once again extended the provincial state of emergency due to the ongoing wildfires in the Interior.
The provincial state of emergency is now set to expire at the end of the day on Sept. 15. The state of emergency was first declared on July 7 before being extended on July 19, Aug. 4 and Aug. 18.
“The state of emergency declaration will continue to apply to the whole province,” the Ministry of Public Safety said in a release. “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 of Friday morning, there were 160 wildfires burning in the province, with 16 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,622 individuals and 39 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 13,670 people.
Evacuees receive $600-per-household funding, which is renewed every 14 days until evacuees return home. Eligible small businesses affected by the fires can now receive a $1,500 emergency grant through the province and the Canadian Red Cross.
This year’s wildfires have burned more than 10,600 square kilometres. The last provincial state of emergency was declared in August 2003. That state of emergency was also due to wildfires.