Details from the BC Government news release and press conference:
During the past week, BC has seen record-breaking heat accompanied by dry air masses, especially in the south of the province. The heat has compounded the existing drought conditions affecting much of the province and heightened the wildfire risk. Additionally, a fast-moving cold front is set to come through the province today through Friday. The incoming cold, dry air is expected to break down the existing high-pressure ridge, causing strong, shifting winds and dry lightning. Based on this, the province may experience the rapid growth of new fires, as well as an overall unpredictable and fast-moving fire behavior of existing wildfires. As a result, the province is preparing for extreme fire behavior
People are urged to be prepared for evacuations, stay aware of the wildfire situation in their area, take precautions, report fires when they see them by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone or by downloading the BC Wildfire Service app, and following all regional fire prohibitions. People should take extreme care to ensure their own activities are not a source of wildfire ignition. Everyone should also be aware of current fire conditions in their area, stay informed as conditions change by visiting BCWildfire.ca and EmergencyInfoBC.ca or through the BC Wildfire Service app (IOS or Android), and abide by any existing alerts or evacuation orders.
Visit Emergency Info BC for the latest news on current evacuation orders, alerts and area restrictions. Given the incoming conditions that may result in rapidly growing and moving wildfires, it is important that people who are placed under an evacuation order leave the area immediately and follow the instructions provided by their local authority or First Nation.
Before travelling anywhere within the province, check for road closures, evacuation alerts, evacuation orders and other prohibitions, such as BC Parks closures. Follow all instructions from First Nations or local authorities, including evacuation alerts or evacuation orders. Visitors and campers at BC parks are reminded to conserve water to help protect our natural resources. BC Parks has posted online drought advisories on all relevant park websites. They also have information and posters up at parks to minimize in-park water use for both staff operational use and by visitors. Destination BC has created a new drought tool kit with suggested actions to help resorts, restaurants, and other tourism industry partners champion water conservation (available for download here).
Stay up to date and consistently check current weather alerts, by visiting: http://weather.gc.ca
As part of their emergency plans, people should connect with friends and family who may be able to provide shelter and support should an evacuation order be issued. This will help ensure local accommodation is available for those who have no other option. For those who do not have the option of staying with family or friends, Emergency Support Services (ESS), including accommodation, are available. People are strongly encouraged to pre-register for ESS at: ess.gov.bc.ca.
BC Wildfire Service crews are working diligently to secure fire guards for active wildfires, doing planned ignition operations, and ensuring that active perimeters of fires are out. The top priority is always to protect people’s lives and property, as well as crucial infrastructure.
Read the full BC Gov news release, here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023EMCR0054-001311
Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness
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