Province Declares State of Emergency
Prince George, B.C. – Today’s extreme wildfire behaviour has prompted Victoria to issue a provincial state of emergency.
It was issued tonight by Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC to ensure a co-ordinated response to the current wildfire situation and to ensure public safety.
The move follows 138 new wildfire starts throughout the province today which have led to evacuation alerts and orders for Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Princeton, 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House not to mention numerous highway closures.
“Given the current wildfire situation and the expected increase in wildfire activity, the Province is taking this extraordinary measure of declaring a provincial state of emergency,” reads a government news release.
“This is an urgent situation and public safety is the top priority. The Province will continue to keep the public informed in this rapidly evolving situation.”
The Province says the state of emergency gives agencies such as Emergency Management BC, the Fire Commissioner, the Ministry of Forests and the RCMP authority under the Emergency Program Act to take every action necessary to fight these wildfires and protect residents and the communities they live in.
The last provincial declaration of a state of emergency was issued in August 2003 to deal with wildfires.