WILDFIRES – Provincial state of emergency declared; 56 new fires

Harrison Lake East wildfire. (Image: BC Wildfire Service)

UPDATE: The TNRD has issued an evacuation order for a number of properties in Little Fort as of 10:30 p.m. today, July 7. The order states that “because of the potential danger to life and health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has ordered everyone in Little Fort, west and south of Lemieux Creek to evacuate the properties identified on the attached map immediately.” (See map at bottom.) Residents were told to report to the Emergency Social Services Reception Centre at the Clearwater Legion Hall at 257 Glen Road in Clearwater.

A provincial state of emergency has been declared in response to a spate of new wildfires that prompted evacuation alerts and orders for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton today in addition to others ordered Thursday for 105 Mile House and Princeton.

Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC, announced the provincial state of emergency tonight (July 7, 2017) just after 9:30 p.m.

He said the state of emergency will ensure a co-ordinated response to the current wildfire situation and will also ensure public safety.

Today alone there have been 56 new wildfire starts throughout the province. The extended weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorms in many parts of the province.

Stone said the situation is urgent and public safety is the top priority.

The state of emergency gives agencies such as Emergency Management BC, the Fire Commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the RCMP authority under the Emergency Program Act to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect residents and their communities.

Declarations of provincial states of emergency are issued by the minister responsible under the Emergency Program Act. The last provincial declaration of state of emergency was issued in August 2003 to deal with wildfires.

On the heels of Stone’s declaration, the Thompson Nicola Regional District’s EOC ordered an evacuation in the Dunn Lake area east of Little Fort, at about 9:39. Twenty minutes later it issued an evacuation alert for the Hallamore Lake area in Electoral Area A (Wells Gray Country).

About Mel Rothenburger (5766 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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