TNRD board chair relieved province listened and declared a state of emergency due to wildfires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Haze
33.7°C

Kamloops News

TNRD board chair relieved province listened and declared a state of emergency due to wildfires

FILE PHOTO - A wildfire burns in the mountains north of Lytton, B.C., on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
July 20, 2021 - 4:18 PM

As Ken Gillis, on his way to his office in Kamloops to sign another evacuation order in the region he represents, said he's relieved the the B.C. government issued a state of emergency in response to wildfires burning across the province.

Gillis, the board chair for the Thompson Nicola Regional District, said he doesn't have specifics from the province yet as to what exactly those additional resources are going to be and how they will distributed to the region to address wildfires. He is looking forward to more accommodations provided for evacuees.

"The evacuations are following one after another, and we do need places to send these people," Gillis said. "We're certainly hoping it will enable the province to obtain more boots on the ground for us, and maybe more military aid, too. It's still speculation now, but it's painfully clear how much help we need."

Minister for Public Safety Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency on the afternoon of July 20 based on weather conditions that are projected to increase the severity of fire behaviour, particularly in the Central Interior.

The provincial government, at the time, of the announcement registered 40 evacuation orders across the province, which were affecting 5,700 people.

Roughly half of those evacuation orders are located within the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

On July 19, Gillis criticized the provincial government for making a public safety issue a political matter, stating that it was time for Premier John Horgan to "step up to the plate."

"We didn’t get any heads up on it," Gillis said. "At 4 p.m. (July 19), they said no, and at 2 p.m. today, they said it's suddenly a state of emergency."

But he said he won't dwell on the fact that the regional district had not received notice regarding the province's change of heart, he's simply relieved. He expects to see the additional support allocated to both wildfires in the region and to the evacuees throughout the region.

A petition calling on the B.C. government to declare the state of emergency has declared it a victory now that it has been announced.

After collecting over 15,000 signatures to plead the B.C. government make the declaration, the petition page reads: "Time for the province to get the much needed resources and help it needs to fight this disaster."

There are 20 ongoing evacuation orders throughout the regional district and 26 alerts, which can be followed on the Thompson Nicola Regional District here.

— With files from the Canadian Press.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Okanagan Lake nearing its lowest level in at least 20 years
    Okanagan Lake is now only about one centimetre higher than it was at this time in 2003 – which was one of the driest years on record. As of July 26, it sat at 341.87 metres above sea l
  • Kamloops woman comes face-to-face with thief in her home
    When Bev Rogers came home from a night shift at the hospital and found a bike mysteriously laying on her front yard on Kamloops' North Shore on Wednesday morning, she was surprised. What was m
  • Kelowna highrise sells out within 48 hours of going on sale
    The first of three residential highrise towers in the Water Street by the Park development in downtown Kelowna sold out almost as soon as they came on the market. The sales started on Friday
  • Young woman fends off attacker in Kamloops
    Kamloops RCMP responded to a North Shore volleyball court after hearing a young woman scream. On July 28, around 10:20 p.m., police found the youth uninjured after she fought off an attacker
  • Foreign student drowns in Shuswap lake
    A 27-year-old foreign exchange student has drowned in the Shuswap's White Lake. On July 28, the Salmon Arm RCMP, White Lake Fire Department and Shuswap Search and Rescue responded to a r
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile