B.C. extends state of emergency as 534 wildfires burn across the province

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Photo B.C. Wildfire Service

B.C. has extended its state of emergency through to September 12 as 534 wildfires continue to burn across the province.

The province first declared a state of emergency on August 15 but has continued to extend it to support about 3,200 people affected by 34 evacuation orders and 21,800 people impacted by 53 evacuation alerts.

The B.C. Wildfire Service currently lists 61 wildfires of note meaning they are highly visible or pose a threat to people or property.

In a news release, the province states that the extension of the state of emergency ensures all needed 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.

The state of emergency gives agencies, such as Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner and the RCMP, the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect residents and their communities.

The 2018 wildfire season has surpassed 2017 as the worst on record.

In 2017, the province was in a state of emergency for 10 weeks from July 7 to September 15.

Metro Vancouver cancelled its air quality advisory on Monday, August 27 due to clean air pushing smoke out of the region but continues to monitor conditions.

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Melissa is a reporter at Vancouver Is Awesome and has worked primarily in radio and online media. She grew up in Ontario, went to school in Halifax and worked in Northern B.C. before moving to Vancouver. If you've got a story to share email: melissa@vancouverisawesome.com