British Columbia has declared state of emergency for unincorporated Stikine region

Canada Wildfires. Image credit: Unsplash Christopher Burns

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Vancouver/CMEDIA: A state of emergency for the unincorporated Stikine region was reportedly declared Jul 10 by the province of British Columbia in response to the ongoing wildfire situation and expansion of campfire bans throughout the province.

An evacuation order in place for specific areas in the region affected by the Little Blue River wildfire includes the Stikine region being B.C.’s only unincorporated region.

The declaration is effective from July 10, 2023 for 14 days and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.

Effective July 10, 2023, at 3 p.m. (Pacific time), category 1 campfires were prohibited throughout B.C. with the exception of Haida Gwaii. Campfires have already been prohibited in many regions of B.C.

“While the Wildfire Act already enables all the legislative tools…to closely monitor wildfire and drought conditions and impacts across B.C. to determine if other measures might be required. We will continue to take actions to keep people and communities safe, said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.”

With 311 active wildfires burning in the province, significant amounts of dry lightning affected nearly all regions of the province during the past weekend starting with 115 wildfires.

Additional out-of-province resources through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre are being provided to B.C.

Currently, there are 12 evacuation orders affecting approximately 156 people, in addition to 12 evacuation alerts affecting 629 people in the northwest, northeast and Cariboo regions.

In addition, deployment by international personnel from Mexico and the United States to the Prince George Fire Centre, and additional aviation resources in recent days have been provided to B.C.

With drought conditions continuing to worsen in B.C. due to lower levels of rain and other precipitation over the past year, the majority of water basins are now at Level 4 drought.

In case drought conditions worsen due the failure of conservation measures not achieving sufficient results, temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act may be issued to water licensees to support drinking water for communities and avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems.

The situation is being monitored by the provincial staff with efforts to balance water use with environmental flow needs.

People and businesses have been advised to reduce water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from their local or regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district.