BC government lifting provincial state of emergency

BC government lifting provincial state of emergency

The government of Canada's British Columbia (BC) province announced on Friday to lift a provincial state of emergency over the record wildfires declared more than two months ago. At the peak of the disaster, nearly 50,000 residents were staying with family members or living in shelters, hotels and campgrounds.

This year has been the worst wildfire season on record.

Over 510 million Canadian dollars (413 million USA dollar) have been used to fight against the flames so far this year as fires continue to burn out of control in southeastern British Colombia.

For areas returning to regular life, Donaldson said recovery efforts to get logging, tourism, agriculture and other industries running are already underway.

Donaldson said $21 million of that fund has been delivered to date to approximately 52,000 people. The wildfires have consumed more than 11,700 square kilometres of land since April 1.

As of this morning, 153 wildfires are burning in B.C., with 11 evacuation orders affecting about 3,000 individuals. During this wildfire season, approximately 65,000 people evacuated from their homes.

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It was extended four times over nine weeks.

Wildfires continue to rage across B.C., the province warned, and those in affected communities should remain prepared.

This means the Canadian Forces will be demobilizing members who've been working with the provincial wildfire service.

The last provincial state of emergency was in August 2003, also due to wildfires.

The state of emergency will end at midnight tonight.

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