Canada wildfires: Emergency declared in British Columbia province

Canada's westernmost province of British Columbia has declared a state of emergency with fast-moving wildfires continuing to threaten to destroy homes in the area around West Kelowna city.

A file image of a wildfire that is destroying Canada. Photo Courtesy: X video grab

British Columbia's Premier David Eby said the region is bracing up to face a more challenging situation in the upcoming days.

He wrote on X: "This year, we’re facing the worst #BCWildfire season ever. Over the past 24 hrs, the situation has evolved rapidly and we are in for an extremely challenging situation in the days ahead. Given these fast-moving conditions, we are declaring a provincial state of emergency."

"A provincial state of emergency allows the Province to enact emergency orders. Emergency orders could include travel restrictions to specific areas if people do not respect our calls to avoid non-essential travel to the central Interior and southeastern BC," he said.

Eby asked locals to follow evacuation orders.

The McDougall Creek wildfire has grown from 64 to 6,800 hectares in 24 hours, a BBC report noted.

According to reports, 4,800 people are currently facing evacuation orders.

Separately, about 22,000 people – or roughly half the population – have been displaced in Canada's Northwest Territories because of another huge wildfire, the British media reported.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau also reacted to the ongoing challenges and tweeted: "Over the past two days, thousands of Yellowknife residents have been forced to evacuate their homes because of devastating wildfires. Without hesitation, cities across Canada stepped up to help them – for example, Edmonton’s Expo Centre was quickly opened as an evacuation centre."

"This isn’t an easy time for people, and when I stopped by the Expo Centre earlier this evening, I let them know we’re here for them – and we’ll continue to be here for them in the days to come and when they can go back to Yellowknife," he said.