Saturday, August 19, 2023

Wildfire Situation brings State of Emergency for British Columbia

The Province of British Columbia declared a State of Emergency Friday Night, that as wildfires consumed woodlands and urban areas of many portions of the Interior part of the province, with West Kelowna and Kelowna making for the most striking visuals of the latest surge in wildfires this summer.

“Given these fast-moving conditions, the Province of British Columbia is declaring a provincial state of emergency, under the authority of the Emergency Program Act, to ensure we are in a position to rapidly access any tools we need to support communities as the situation evolves."

Saturday afternoon, saw the first Orders of the State of Emergency, with the province looking to reduce tourism travel into the affected regions through a travel ban until September 4. 

That to free up accommodation space for those wildfire fighters arriving in the Okanagan and other areas following a call up across the province from local fire departments and Emergency Responders, as well as for those being evacuated from the areas in imminent danger.

“Our Province is facing the worst wildfire season in our history. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and crews on the ground are battling to save people’s homes. We’re grateful for everyone who has listened to our call to change plans and not travel in the central Interior and the southeast. 

But very large numbers of people are evacuated in the Okanagan and we especially need more accommodation there. This order will help ensure we have accommodation available for the people who need it in this time of crisis. 

The Province is introducing a new order under the provincial state of emergency. Under this order, effective today until end of day on Sept. 4, 2023, people may not travel to stay in temporary accommodations for non-essential purposes in several communities. 

This includes hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, hostels, RV parks, and campgrounds."  -- Premier David Eby

The Province is directing British Columbians and those visiting the province to consult the Emergency Info BC website for further information.

Drive BC also has information related to any Road Closures in the Province related to the Wildfires.

The most recent map as of Saturday of the current Wildfire 
situation across British Columbia 

We will update this list with any further Orders from the BC Government as they are released.

You can review our archive of information from the Northwest Fire season here.

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