On Tuesday, the BC government declared a provincial state of emergency due to the ongoing wildfire situation
With that now in place, the province can marshal resources, appropriate land or property, and impose limitations such as travel bans.
Many communities in the Interior region of BC are experiencing either wildfires, intense smoke, and wind or weather warnings.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said that upcoming wind and weather in the Interior has prompted additional evacuation orders.
The wildfire situation is still evolving but here are current statistics of the situation as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20th.
Current Active Wildfires
There are 296 wildfires currently burning in BC and since April 1st, there have been 1,156 wildfires and 310,509 hectares burned.
Most of these wildfires are occurring in the Interior, North, and Vancouver Coastal areas of BC; Vancouver Island has yet to experience any serious wildfires this year.
Here’s where there wildfires are currently burning:
- Cariboo: 46 (50,348 hectares)
- Coastal: 10 (799 ha)
- Kamloops: 111 (110,043 ha)
- Northwest: 5 (25,955 ha)
- Prince George: 60 (105,661 ha)
- Southeast: 64 (14,700 ha)
Since wildfires began this summer, and Lytton was destroyed by a wildfire, evacuation orders due to wildfires have been more frequent.
To date, BC has called 44 evacuation orders and 74 evacuation alerts in total; most (35) being in central BC.
Northwest, northeast, and southeast BC have experienced a quarter of the evacuation orders compared to central BC.
With the state of emergency in place, the province will be providing daily updates on the ongoing wildfire situation.
Crews and Equipment
On July 16th, the BC government announced that a contingent of 100 Mexican firefighters and an additional 20 Quebec firefighters were coming to BC to assist the province’s Wildfire Service.
There are a total of 135 out-of-province firefighters. Firefighters and other personnel currently fighting the fires is at 3,180, which includes out-of-province and aerial support.
There are also 178 support ground crews and helicopters.
If you spot a wildfire, report it as soon as possible by calling 1.800.663.5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.