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State of emergency extended to end of August as wildfires ravage B.C.

Thousands of properties are under evacuation order as 262 wildfires tear through B.C.
The White Rock Lake wildfire has come down to Westside Road near Vernon, as pictured Monday, Aug. 16. (Contributed)

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency to the end of August to help coordinate responses to the wildfires ravaging much of the province.

The state of emergency will remain in effect until midnight on Aug. 31, but the province can choose to extend the state of emergency if necessary.

RELATED: B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfire season, preparing for potential ‘mass evacuation

As of Tuesday (Aug. 17) afternoon, 262 wildfires are burning in the province with 86 evacuation orders and 125 evacuation alerts affecting a combined total of 30,991 properties.

“We’ve seen several large fires spread rapidly over the weekend in multiple communities throughout the province,” said public safety minister Mike Farnworth.

Farnworth asked that travellers avoid fire-affected areas until the wildfire situation is under control.

RELATED: West Kelowna mayor asks tourists to think of wildfire evacuees

Over the weekend, multiple B.C. municipalities experienced new wildfires or struggled to accommodate evacuees from other regions. Wildfire activity caused a 40-hour closure of the Coquihalla Highway, which has since reopened to essential travel.

RELATED: Coquihalla closures causes traffic congestion and anger in Princeton


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