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Everything You Need To Know About The BC Wildfires

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It’s been two weeks since the province declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires sweeping across BC’s Interior. It will now be extended another two weeks as the fires are still out of control in many areas.

Here’s everything you need to know so far:

About 43,000 People Evacuated

The raging fires have displaced around 43,000 people, forcing them out of their homes and to shelters in Kamloops and elsewhere.

bc wildfires
Photo: Google Maps

With 150 fires still active and 53 new evacuation orders as of July 21st, there’s no end in sight.

The evacuations have taken its toll on thousands of people, including Robert and Darlene Halata, of 100 Mile House.

The couple were nearly finished building their dream home when they visited friends Chris and Brenda Duehmig in Chilliwack. They bought a few items while there and were given a tomato plant as a gift to take back to their new abode. But once they arrived home, the wildfires had spread and they were told they had to leave. They grabbed a few belongings and their new plant, driving away not knowing when or what they will return to.

bc wildfires
Photo: Robert Hatla

The stress and uncertainty of the state of their homes and beloved communities once they return, has rattled the thousands of people affected.

State Of Emergency Extended

Newly appointed BC Premier John Horgan says they will be extending the state of emergency for an additional two weeks as many evacuees are still not able to return home. The air quality due to smoke also remains a major concern.

Horgan mentions that the majority of people who have registered themselves at wildfire evacuation centres should have already received their first installment of $600 to assist with expenses. They are now eligible for another $600 as the state of emergency is prolonged. He adds that it’s very uncommon to enforce a second state of emergency but unfortunately it’s a measure they had to take.

Firefighters all over BC and beyond, as well as soldiers from Canadian Armed Forces have been battling the blazes.

How You Can Help

The Red Cross is currently collecting donations to help the people affected by the wildfires. The funds will provide immediate relief for evacuees with items like cots and blankets. It will also serve as a financial assistance for families to purchase food, clothing, shelter and whatever else they need.

For the most up to date information on the status of wildfires, check in with the Government of B.C.

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