BC Premier David Eby and the Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, Bowinn Ma, have announced a state of emergency over the worsening wildfire situation.
“The Province of British Columbia is declaring a provincial state of emergency, under the authority of the Emergency Program Act, to ensure we are in a position to rapidly access any tools we need to support communities as the situation evolves.”
In their statement they say the province faces an extremely challenging situation in the days ahead in the worst wildfire season ever in British Columbia.
A provincial state of emergency lets the government enact emergency orders that could include travel restrictions to specific areas if people do not respect calls to avoid non-essential travel to the central interior and southeast.
Thousands of people are under evacuation orders because of the numerous wildfires, and tens of thousands more are on evacuation alert.
Premier Eby and Ma say they’re grateful that people “are mostly following our call to not travel to certain areas and to stay out of the way of emergency crews so they can do their jobs.”
With more and more people evacuated and access to accommodation becoming increasingly tight in the interior, they say it’s important to ensure that accommodation is available for evacuees.
They call on all British Columbians to be alert, listen to local officials and follow evacuation orders.