A fire crew stands with their truck near a forest fire in British Columbia, 22 July 2017. Hills firey are lending a hand to put out Canadia forest fires. Photo: Erica Roy / ibusinesslines

21 July 2017 (Insurance Journal) – British Columbia is extending a state of emergency for two more weeks as wildfires sweeping across the province’s interior show no sign of slowing.

Premier John Horgan said Wednesday that his government’s first priority is to support the more than 45,000 people displaced by the fires, which have so far torched more than 1,235 square miles (3,200 square kilometers) of land.

British Columbia is extending a state of emergency for two more weeks as wildfires sweeping across the province’s interior show no sign of slowing.

Premier John Horgan said Wednesday that his government’s first priority is to support the more than 45,000 people displaced by the fires, which have so far torched more than 1,235 square miles (3,200 square kilometers) of land.

The state of emergency was set to expire Friday, and Horgan said he regrets having to extend it.

“This is unprecedented,” he said. “Traditionally, when an emergency is declared, people are usually back in their homes within the two-week period. That may not be the case for many individuals.”

Some people are still out of their homes because of flooding earlier this year, he said.

Calmer winds have allowed firefighters to build guards around scores of wildfires currently threatening communities in central and southern British Columbia, said chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek. He said the number of active fires is decreasing.

The wildfire service said Wednesday that 155 fires are currently burning and 15 of those are threatening communities.

Fire information officer Navi Saini said a person was injured while driving in an evacuated area west of Williams Lake.

She said the person inside the vehicle had been in the area in an attempt to fight the fire.

Officials said Wednesday that a fire that destroyed eight homes north of Kelowna is 100 percent contained and residents of 58 properties in Lake Country can immediately return home, although an evacuation alert remains in place. [more]

British Columbia Wildfires Continue to Rage, Torching 1,235-Plus Square Miles


Several dozen people in the tiny community of Riske Creek, B.C., have taken matters into their own hands and are working to protect their properties from wildfire, 22 July 2017. Photo: Evan Fuller / CBC News

By Liam Britten
22 July 2017

(CBC News) – In a province that routinely has major wildfires, emergency management consultant Jim Lamorte is surprised more people haven't been killed.

Lamorte fears that could change given the reluctance of some British Columbians to obey evacuation orders to stay and protect their properties.

"I do hear people say from time to time they're going to stay behind and protect their home," he said.

"It may be tempting to do that, but their experience with wildfire may be no more than a campfire. … That's not what they're going to experience."

What they will experience, he said, are falling embers swirling and surrounding them. And they'll feel unbearable heat from as far as a kilometre away.

And they may feel the temptation to run to the illusory safety of a structure which could catch fire and ultimately become a tomb. [more]

Experts say don't be a 'garden hose hero' in the face of an evacuation order

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