B.C. wildfires spark provincial state of emergency

The B.C. government issued the first provincial state of emergency in almost 14 years after over 130 new wildfires sprang up across the province Friday.

Evacuation orders and alerts were issued to residents of Dunn Lake, Hallamore Lake, the Cariboo region, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Princeton. 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House were given evacuation alerts the previous day. Transportation and Infrastructure minister Todd Stone declared the state of emergency.

Click image for interactive data viz on Tableau Public.


“This an urgent situation and public safety is the top priority. The Province will continue to keep the public informed in this rapidly evolving situation,” reads the press release Friday night.

Becky Telfer and her horses were evacuated from 150 Mile House. For now she’s staying at her mother’s house in Williams Lake, while her horses take up residence in the back yard.

“I had [two hours] and help to pack my house. Got the important things, now, it’s in the hands of fate, or God, or the universe. The horses and I are safe and my insurance is paid up. Nothing more I can do,” she said in a Twitter message.

Telfer’s horses in her mother’s back yard in Williams Lake. Submitted Photo.
Telfer said she wasn’t afraid because she knew her friends and family were safe, and had an evacuation plan in place ahead of time.
“[W]atching interviews with evacuees, have taught me that you make a plan in your mind, what goes first. So on the way home from work, I reviewed that plan, and when I got home I implemented it,” she said.


150 Mile Centre at 4:38 pm, looking towards Williams Lake. Submitted Photo.
“Hopefully, the fire crews can get it under control soon. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will see what it brings.”

The last state of emergency in August 2003 was also due to wildfires.

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