(Photo by Cyn Zawadzki/Facebook)

The BC government has extended the provincial state of emergency to August 18th due to the ongoing wildfire situation around the province.

The state of emergency grants the government powers to be able to authorize evacuation orders.

As of Tuesday, August 3rd, 262 wildfires are burning in BC, with 64 evacuation orders affecting approximately 4,305 properties. There are 99 evacuation alerts affecting approximately 21,049 properties.

In the past two days, there have been 29 new fires.

Current weather forecasts predict stronger winds and potential thunderstorms for the areas near the Big Stick Lake fire in the Cariboo region, and the Octopus Lake fire in BC’s southeast.

See also: Here’s what you can do to prevent a wildfire and what to do if you spot one

“As we have seen over the past number of weeks, the continued dry, hot weather poses a high risk for potential wildfires,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“The province will continue to support British Columbians with all of the tools they may need if they end up facing an evacuation order.”

So far, 33.6% of wildfires have been human-caused, 52.3% are caused by lightning, and 14.1% have an unknown cause.

The wildfire situation is still evolving but here are current statistics of the situation as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Current Active Wildfires

There are currently 262 wildfires burning in BC and since April 1st, there have been 1,336 wildfires and 557,459 hectares burned.

Most 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: 50
Coastal: 20
Kamloops: 75
Northwest: 7
Prince George: 53
Southeast: 57

Evacuation Orders

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 64 evacuation orders and 100 evacuation alerts in total; most being in central BC.

Central BC is currently experiencing 57 evacuation orders and 73 alerts.

Southeast BC is experiencing six orders and eight alerts; meanwhile, Northeast BC is experiencing one order and 14 alerts and the Northeast has one order and 14 alerts.

Crews and Equipment

There are a total of 415 out-of-province firefighters attending the BC wildfires.

Firefighters and other personnel currently fighting the fires is at 2,737, which includes out-of-province and aerial support.

There are also 380 aerial support staff.

Vancouver Island

As of this publication, there are no wildfires burning on Vancouver Island.

If you spot a wildfire, report it as soon as possible by calling 1.800.663.5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.