State of emergency declared in B.C. over wildfires

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Less than a month after B.C. ended its record-breaking state of emergency due to COVID-19, the province is entering a new one.

This time, however, it's not because of the pandemic but because of wildfires in the province.

“Based on the advice of emergency management and wildfire officials, in my briefing last night on the worsening weather, I am declaring a provincial state of emergency,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth in a news conference Tuesday.

“It will address the potential for a mass evacuation scenario and provide our government with the means to secure the accommodation spaces necessary to support the evacuees.”

Officials announced the new state of emergency in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The state of emergency goes into effect at midnight.

There are currently 297 active wildfires in B.C. 87 are burning out of control, including the Brenda Creek fire north of Peachland; the Hunakwa Lake fire near Seymour Arm in the Shuswap; the Nk'Mip fire between Oliver and Osoyoos; the Thomas Creek fire near Okanagan Falls; and the Bunting Lake Road fire near Mabel Lake in the North Okanagan.

To report a wildfire call 1-800-663-5555 or STAR 5555 on a cell phone.

-- with files from CTV News --