The Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors unanimously passed a motion today (July 15, 2021) asking the provincial government to declare a provincial state of emergency in response to the wildfire situation in B.C.
Today’s decision reverses a decision by the board a week and a half ago not to ask for a state of emergency. By a vote of 14 to six, the board voted today to reconsider the earlier decision, then vote unanimously in favour of the emergency declaration.
I voted in favour of reconsideration, and seconded the motion to ask for a province wide state of emergency. I had also voted in favour of it when the issue came up at the earlier meeting.
Several directors who had opposed the original motion spoke passionately in favour of the motion today, saying a state of emergency will provide additional resources to fight the fires, and will give B.C. residents more confidence that everything possible is being done.
It’s still up to the provincial government to issue such a declaration.
The motion comes as 308 active wildfires are burning in the province, and 13 per cent of the TNRD is under an evacuation order or alert. A total of 876 properties in the region are currently impacted by an evacuation order, and 2,359 properties are impacted by an evacuation alert.
The TNRD Emergency Operations Centre has already declared six states of local emergency, and has 15 active evacuation orders and 19 active evacuation alerts in place.
— Mel Rothenburger, Director, Electoral Area P