As wildfires continue to spread, BC has declared a state of emergency across the province, forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes and thousands of people into evacuation alerts.
It appears in A call from a local municipal leader The province declared a state of emergency.
Public Security Secretary Mike Farnworth said the statement will help quickly respond to mass evacuation and allow the government to provide accommodation for these people if necessary.
On Tuesday, nearly 300 fires were burning across the province, and several of them are encroaching on communities where evacuation orders or warnings have been issued.
More than 40 evacuation orders have affected approximately 5,700 people or nearly 2,900 properties in the province. There were also 69 evacuation alerts affecting less than 33,000 people and approximately 16,000 properties.
“We have reached a tipping point,” Farnworth said.
Cliff Chapman, director of operations for the Wildfire Service of British Columbia, said that so far this season, more than 3,000 square kilometers of land in British Columbia have been destroyed by 1,145 wildfires, which is an average of 10 years at this time of year. Three times the level.
The state of emergency will last for 14 days, but may be extended as needed.
Nk’Mip Creek fire more than doubled
The Nk’Mip Creek fire continues to burn on the Osoyoos Indian Band land between the towns of Oliver and Osoyoos, about 40 kilometers south of Penticton. The BC Wildfire Service previously referred to the fire as Inkaneep Creek Wildfire, but changed the name on Tuesday.
As of 2:30 pm Pacific time, the fire is estimated to cover 20 square kilometers, compared with 7 square kilometers on Monday night.
The video shows where the flames in the Inkanmeep Creek wildfire last night… and where the fire has moved. You can definitely see burnt trees, but many trees are not on fire either.#BCWildfires a> pic.twitter.com/fpwgiAEXuS
The firefighters on Tuesday faced a relentless gust of wind blowing flames on the dry ground.
“The staff have been greatly challenged by these steady winds,” said Tyler MacDonald of the Wildfire Service Center in British Columbia.
The Oliver Fire Department released a short video on Tuesday showing the early stages of the fire. The post stated that staff worked in shifts throughout the night to protect the building from the fire.
On Monday, after the wildfire broke out, hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate their property.
Geraldine and Rod Foley took a few precious photos and their pets and fled their home near Baldy Hill in Oliver Country: eight dogs, two cats and two parrots.
“From our balcony, you can see the smoke. It’s horrible. Then suddenly, within five minutes, the flames burned in the air,” Rod said on Tuesday.
He said a district official “walked up the hillside and shouted,’You must go now,'”.
Geraldine took half of the animals in the truck, and Rod and the other half rode in the couple’s RV, where they planned to stay.
Geraldine said her son is a firefighter, and she told her that if the wind changes, they may lose their house and home.
“It makes me want to cry,” Geraldine said. “That is my home.”
Within a few hours on Monday afternoon, the wildfire quickly expanded from 0.03 square kilometers to more than 3 square kilometers. As of 9 pm Pacific time, the area is 7 square kilometers.
The evacuation happened so crazy that officials could not confirm exactly how many people left their homes.
“total people [of evacuees], I haven’t had a chance to add them up,” said Erick Thompson, an information officer for the Okanagan-Simirkamen region (RDOS), in an early morning interview.
The Oliver-Osoyoos area is a popular tourist destination, famous for its wineries. Oliver’s Legion Hall opened on Tuesday morning as a reception center for evacuees.
Require all evacuees to register online Emergency Support Service (ESS), Even if they don’t need a referral to get help such as housing.
Although the fire continued unabated, Mayor Oliver said that the staff who put out the fire overnight seemed to be making progress.
Mayor Martin Johnson told CBC News on Tuesday: “From a visual point of view, from what I have seen, the situation is indeed much better. The wind certainly did not come, but in some areas, the fire did overnight. It is clear.”
“I believe, you know, we may have passed the first worst period. We will look at today’s progress… everything is thrown into this fire as soon as possible.”
On Monday night, the Osoyoos Indian Band issued its first evacuation order covering nearly 200 properties.
Clarence Louie, chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, said the Oliver Fire Department had done a “very good job” in rescuing the house closest to the fire.
He said that the evacuated band members were temporarily staying in a hotel in the Oliver-Osoyoos area. Some people choose to stay.
RDOS has issued evacuation orders for dozens of properties east of the wildfire. On Tuesday night, the evacuation order was extended to 140 properties in the area.
In addition to the order, dozens of properties in the area and the town of Oliver are under evacuation alert and are required to prepare to evacuate when the order is issued.
Watch | Wildfires in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia have forced hundreds of people to leave their homes:
RDOS has declared a local emergency. Oliver Town, with a population of about 5,000, also declared a state of emergency.
In North Okanagan, near Vernon, more than a dozen properties were ordered to evacuate on Tuesday due to wildfires Located on the east side of Mabel Lake.
Officials urged residents on evacuation alert to develop an evacuation plan and leave their property immediately after receiving an evacuation order.
Chapman said: “After working in this branch for 20 years, if I receive an evacuation order today, I will take my family out.”
In the southern inland area of ??British Columbia, most of the resort town of Sicamous in BC is According to evacuation order or alert Wildfires caused by highway accidents. At least 1,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes.
Evacuees have difficulty finding accommodation
The evacuated residents have been scrambling to find safe accommodation, and hotel rooms are very expensive.
Ken Gillis, chairman of the Thompson-Nicola region, said there are no places to stay in Kamloops, Merritt or Salmon Arm.
“They are absolutely full,” he said.
Due to the shortage of hotel accommodation, RDOS encourages evacuees to consider arranging to live with family or friends. The area also calls on tourists to learn about the wildfires around them before entering the area.
“Of course, the message from anyone involved in the tourism industry is that the area is still open…. The problem is that because of the rapid spread of wildfires, anyone planning to be in the area or visiting must be very situational. “Thompson with RDOS said.
“Okanagan is now complicated in this way.”
More resources are coming
Farnworth said there are currently more than 3,100 people involved in fire fighting in British Columbia. It is expected that 500 people will arrive in the next few days.
However, fire and evacuation personnel support resources are “scarce,” he said.
?British Columbia: Wildfires continue to threaten communities across the province.In response to requests for assistance, we will send up to 350 @CanadianForces Members come to help @BCGovFireInfo Put out fire hot spots and monitor the situation.
Farnworth said: “I want to assure the people of British Columbia that we are deploying all available personnel and equipment to fight fires in communities across our province.”
“Every opportunity is being pursued.”
The Royal British Columbian Mounted Police stated that they will continue to send personnel to assist in the evacuation of communities across the province. So far, 100 officials and support personnel have been deployed, and many more are on standby to prevent more fires.
Weather “a huge problem”
The weather inland is also challenging for firefighters.No rain in the southern half of the province on weekends, some areas It hasn’t rained for nearly five weeks.
The weather is expected to remain hot, dry and windy this week.
“[The winds] Have been contributing to the spread of fires, and they are expected to continue until Thursday,” said MacDonald of the British Columbia Wildfire Service.
The BC Wildfire Service has issued wind speed warnings to the inland, southern and southeastern regions from Tuesday, July 20 to Thursday, July 22, 2021. The wind speed in the southeast of the province is expected to be between 50 and 70 km/h.
Oliver City Mayor Johnson said that the entire community is watching the weather closely.
“The weather is a huge problem, we are only in mid-July. This is our second and third fire in the area. If we get more, I won’t be surprised,” he said.
“I just hope that everyone will do their best to ensure safety and avoid it, you know, accidentally causing a fire… We are all very worried, we still have a long way to go.”
Listen | Mayor Oliver talks about Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire:
8:09More homes in Okanagan threatened by wildfires
Anyone who receives an evacuation order must leave the area immediately.
Evacuation centers have been set up throughout the province to help anyone evacuating from communities threatened by wildfires.To find the center closest to you, please visit Emergency Management in British Columbia website.
Encourage evacuees to register online Emergency Support Service, Regardless of whether they receive services in an evacuation center.