Fire danger rating around British Columbia, 18 August 2017. Graphic: B.C. Wildfire Service

VANCOUVER, 19 August 2017 (Xinhua) – The Canadian province of British Columbia has extended its state of emergency to Sept. 1 as its residents and fire crews continue to deal with what has become the worst wildfire season on record.

The province-wide state of emergency means that those fighting the fires and dealing with the crisis can access federal, provincial and local resources to help with the battle.

This development marks the third time the B.C. government has extended its state of emergency since it began on July 7.

There are 138 wildfires still burning across the heavily-forested and mountainous province, according to the government's emergency information website dedicated to the fire crisis.

Twenty-seven evacuation orders remain in affect keeping about 4,400 people out of their homes. Another 20,700 people remain on evacuation alert at various locations through the interior of the province, meaning they could be told to leave their homes at a moment's notice.

By Friday afternoon, the B.C. Wildfire Service said it had spent 321.6 million Canadian dollars so far trying to extinguish and manage the fires.

The service said there has been 1,031 wildfires across the province since April 1. Those fires have scorched more than 900,000 hectares of land - that's equivalent to about three-times the size of the Greater Vancouver region.

The previous wildfire record in B.C. came in 1958, when 855,000 hectares burned. [more]

Canadian BC wildfire damage now worst on record

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