Vancouver: Firefighters are battling record wildfires burning this season throughout the country. 

On Thursday, Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Minister Bowinn Ma provided an update on the wildfire and drought situation in the province.

Speaking with the media, Bowinn Ma said, “Many parts of the province experienced showers and cooler weather over the last couple of days. I know this may give the perception that our wildfire and drought challenges have been eased, but that necessarily is not the case. While rain did give our hardworking firefighters a chance to take a deep breath, the wildfire and drought situation largely remains unchanged due to drought conditions we have been seeing since last summer.”

She also requested people in the province to follow wildfire and water restrictions. 

In this wildfire season, around 1.5 million hectares of the areas have burned in the province, which is over 70 per cent of the total area burned in Canada this year. 

At present, there are more than 400 active wildfires in the province. Of which, 277 wildfires have sparked prior to seven days. 

Bowinn Ma said as of July 26 till 3pm, approximately 1,060 people are under evacuation orders, while 5,430 people are facing evacuation alerts. 

Mostly, these alerts and orders have been issued in the central and south east regions of the province, she told the reporters.   

About drought conditions, the minister said, “As of Thursday, 23 of the province’s 34 water basins are in drought Level 4 or drought Level 5 classification. We are calling everyone in B.C., including residential and industrial water users, to reduce the water usage. 

She said, “Every drop counts.”

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