Smoke obscures sky at Okanagan Lake and other areas of the B.C. Interior. (Black Press)

B.C. wildfire emergency extended to Sept. 1

Dozens of fires still burning since July declaration

A provincial state of emergency has been extended to Sept. 1 as provincial forest officials cope with the largest area affected by fire since B.C. records were kept starting in 1950.

The declaration, imposed July 19 and now extended a third time, applies to the entire province. It gives federal and provincial officials extra authority to conduct evacuations and take whatever actions necessary to protect people and property.

As of Friday morning there are 138 wildfires in B.C., with 27 evacuation orders affecting approximately 4,400 people and 40 evacuation orders affecting more than 20,000 more. The area burned is estimated at more than 9,000 square kilometres, exceeding the previous record set in 1958.

One reason for the vast area burned this year is the grassland and semi-desert sagebrush areas of the Cariboo-Chilcotin and upper Fraser Canyon region, made drier by the lack of sustained rain since the end of June. The damage to harvested hay and grazing land is an additional burden to ranchers and farmers dealing with destroyed fences and thousands of scattered livestock, some of which have died in the fires.

B.C. Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said the largest fires near Kamloops and Williams Lake remain stable, but winds gusting up to 80 km/h are forecast going into the weekend and that may cause them to spread.

Rain showers are expected, along with lightning through the affected areas, with more sustained rain forecast for the northwest.

bc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media files)
Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Seniors Network keeps elders informed on how to vote

Rides to polling stations hard to come by, but many long term care homes have stations set up within

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidates engaged in an online debate on the environment. (Facebook)
Parties promise improvements to Golden Ears Park

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidates debate environmental issues

If you didn’t vote by mail, or at the advance polls, we hope you get out Saturday to cast your ballot in the 2020 provincial election. (Black Press Media files)
OUR VIEWS: Get out (or not) to vote

The B.C. election is happening on Saturday, Oct. 24. Please make sure to cast your ballot.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows’ NDP incumbent Lisa Beare, believes Reese Witherspoon – seen here in the series “The Morning Show,” could best play her on the big screen. (Special to The News Apple TV+/TNS)
Maple Ridge candidates cast themselves in dramatic comedies

ELECTION LEVITY: MLA hopefuls reveal who should play them on the silver screen

The Jolly Coachman Pub in Pitt Meadows will be closed until Oct. 30 due to a case of COVID-19. (Google)
Pitt Meadows pub stays closed after COVID-19 case

Fraser Health advises patrons to self monitor for symptoms

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read