B.C. lifts wildfires state of emergency

VANCOUVER — The provincial state of emergency has been lifted in British Columbia more than two months after thousands of residents were chased from their homes and hundreds of buildings were lost in ferocious wildfires that set records for destruction.

The state of emergency that expires at midnight Friday was declared July 7 after dozens of out-of-control wildfires broke out in B.C.’s Interior. At the peak of the disaster, almost 50,000 residents were staying with family members or living in shelters, hotels and campgrounds.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said Friday that fire and emergency crews along with volunteers provided a “phenomenal effort” through the fire season that continues to threaten some parts of the province.

“We still have certain areas in certain regions facing volatile situations and we’re continuing to actively and vigorously fight the fires in those areas,” he said, adding people should remain prepared and follow directions of local authorities if fires flare.

For areas returning to regular life, Donaldson said recovery efforts to get logging, tourism, agriculture and other industries running are already underway.

The state of emergency allowed for better co-ordination between agencies responding to the fires and to public safety needs, and a $100-million fund was made available to support thousands of evacuees.

Donaldson said $21 million of that fund has been delivered to date to approximately 52,000 people.

Some of those residents lost their homes. Emergency Management BC said 509 structures were lost and 229 of those were residences.

Over 11,900 square kilometres of land has been charred since April 1, which the BC Wildfire Service said is the largest area burned in the province’s recorded history.

There are still 155 fires burning in B.C., and 11 evacuation orders are in place affecting more than 3,000 people.

Just Posted

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Accused murderer tells all to Mr. Big undercover officer

Joshua Frank tells undercover police officer he shot the Klaus family

WATCH: Central Middle School students’ Christmas tree

A group of Central Middle School students are set to show off… Continue reading

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month