Vancouver: Provincial officials on Thursday provided an update on wildfire and drought conditions in British Columbia at a press conference. 

British Columbia’s Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma said the province’s drought situation has reached the point where the government has plans to transport water to communities in need if required.

She said the forecast for several days of hot weather is expected to dry out forests again, increase fire risks, and worsen the province’s already severe drought levels.

But while the B.C. government is warning people to prepare for a heat event that will raise temperatures to the high ‘30s, it is not expected to be a repeat of the 2021 heat dome that killed more than 615 people.

She said it is critical people understand the risks, prepare for the conditions and know where to access support.

Forests Minister Bruce Ralston said the above-average temperatures will quickly dry out watersheds dampened by recent rainfall and he urges continued water conservation — noting his ministry is prepared to take regulatory action if too much water is being used.

At Thursday morning’s briefing, Ralston said 660 people remain on evacuation order, while another four-thousand are on alert — most in central and southeastern B-C — as more than 1,700 wildfires have burned just under 1,600 square kilometres so far this year. — Canadian Press

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