The government of B.C. has declared a provincial state of emergency in response to the province's ongoing wildfire situation.
Once issued, the state of emergency is in effect for two weeks but can be extended or rescinded as necessary.
It ensures federal, provincial and local resources will be delivered in a coordinated response, to help protect the public. That means the provincial government has the authority to coordinate firefighting efforts and spend what's necessary to combat the more than 560 fires burning across BC.
During the 2017 wildfire season, B.C. was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks, from July 7 to September 15.
On Monday, the British Columbia government formally requested help from the federal government, which responded by sending 200 troops as well as military aircraft to help contain and "mop up" the wildfires.
Updates on evacuation orders issued in response to the fires are available from the B.C. Wildfire Service.
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It is only the second time in more than a decade that it has been used, after a record fire season a year ago that blackened vast tracts of forest and prompted record numbers of residents to evacuate. Previous declarations were in 1996, 2003 and 2017, which lasted 10 weeks.
The extended weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions, with risk of thunderstorms in some parts of the province. Nearly 20,000 people were impacted by the fires and evacuation orders, according to Global News.
It will be in place across the entire western province for at least 14 days.
566 wildfires burning in B.C.
As of August 14, there were 566 wildfires burning in B.C., with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people (1,521 properties), in addition to 48 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 18,720 people (9,359 properties).
3,372 firefighters and contractors actively engaged in fighting fires in all fire regions of the province. Just over 1,800 blazes have been recorded since the wildfire season began April 1. Skrepnek said majority would likely be sent to the Okanagan to help with wildfire mop-up.