The province of British Columbia has declared a State of Emergency in response to the ongoing wildfire situation.
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth made the declaration on Tuesday to come into effect today.
The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days once issued and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.
The state of emergency is in effect for the whole province and ensures federal, provincial and local resources can be delivered in a co-ordinated response to protect the public.
As of Tuesday, there were 299 wildfires burning in the province, with 40 evacuation orders affecting approximately 5,724 people, in addition to 69 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 32,076 people.
More than 3,180 firefighters and resource staff are currently actively engaged in fighting fires in all fire regions in the province. This includes 1,080 contractors and 135 out-of-province resources.
The federal government has responded to and accepted British Columbia’s request for firefighting assistance. In the coming days, federal personnel and resources will be arriving in B.C. to assist with wildfire efforts.
The state of emergency gives agencies, such as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner and the RCMP, the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect people and communities.