B.C. lifts weeks-long state of emergency prompted by wildfires

Burnt trees and a property with structures that were destroyed by the White Rock Lake wildfire earlier this month are seen, in Monte Lake, B.C., on Thursday, August 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. will end its state of emergency, prompted by the challenging wildfires, on Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.

The province announced the imminent lifting of the state of emergency on Monday, as the wildfire situation has been improving. A total of 205 wildfires remain active, but that's dozens less than were burning earlier in the summer.

“Cooler seasonal weather and precipitation, combined with the hard work of firefighters from B.C., Canada and abroad to contain and extinguish fires, means that B.C. can allow the state of emergency to end and return to a standard emergency response,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Emergency Management BC.

The change came after most campfire bans were lifted in the province. As of Monday, only the drought-challenged region of southern Vancouver Island still had campfire restrictions.

The state of emergency was first declared on July 20, weeks after the previous state prompted by COVID-19 was called off.

Earlier in the season, some regions were devastated by wildfires and in some cases, entire communities were evacuated. As of Monday, only three evacuation orders and 13 evacuation alerts remained in place.

The declaration of a state of emergency gave the government extraordinary powers to deal with a crisis, though officials said such extreme measures are not currently necessary.