Friday, July 23, 2021

 


Our top priority has always been, and will always be, keeping people safe. On Tuesday July 20, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, declared a State of Emergency, based on the advice of emergency management and wildfire officials. 

Thousands of firefighting and emergency response staff are already in the field and nothing has stood in the way of them getting the resources they need to respond to wildfires and support people. The State of Emergency allows us to move quickly, should the need arise, to ensure coordination and secure more accommodation spaces. 

The cooperation from all levels of government and in our communities has been outstanding, and we expect this to continue as we move through another very difficult fire season. Whether you live in an affected area or are planning travel across B.C., I encourage you to visit www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest information to help keep yourself and your family safe. 

We know that climate change is expected to make these types of extreme events more frequent and that we need strong, coordinated action around the world to reduce emissions and build a cleaner economy for everyone.  

In B.C., we’re taking a range of actions through our CleanBC plan to build a more sustainable future powered by more renewable energy. We’ve also supported a Cultural and Prescribed Fire program to promote healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk. We’ve invested in wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, and other efforts through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and Forest Carbon Initiative. 

Sometimes, taking care of our environment also happens on a smaller scale. This week, we took action to protect wildlife like owls by restricting the sale and use of certain rodenticides. These are poisons designed to kill rodents, which often end up harming or killing the owls or other wildlife that eat these rodents. This temporary ban will allow us to collaborate with experts in the field of rodent control and wildlife protection and work together on public education and the prevention of further harm to wildlife in our province.

As always, please do your part to help prevent wildfires by respecting bans on campfires, open fires, and fireworks. To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone).

Sincerely,