After more than two months, the provincial government has said it is finally ready to end a state of emergency that was declared in response to a record-setting wildfire season.
“British Columbia's wildfire-driven provincial state of emergency will expire at midnight tonight (Pacific time),” reads a September 15 media release.
“While the extraordinary powers of the provincial state of emergency are no longer required, the wildfire season is not over,” it contuse. “It is vital that the public remain prepared and follow the continued direction of local authorities. The province will continue to take every action necessary to respond to the ongoing wildfire situation and support the recovery of affected communities.”
The emergency was first declared on July 7 and then extended four times.
As of September 15, there were still 153 wildfires burning across B.C.
So far in the fiscal year 2017, the province has seen 1,246 wildfires burn 1.28 million hectares. That compares to a 10-year average of 154,944 hectares burned.
During the last 10 years, the year with the second-most area of land lost to fires was 2014, when 369,168 hectares burned.