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With wildfires raging across B.C., province declares state of emergency

BC Wildfire Services says 138 confirmed fires broke out across B.C. yesterday

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With wildfires raging across B.C., a provincial state of emergency has been declared.

Todd Stone, the minister responsible for Emergency Management in B.C., made the announcement Friday evening, July 7.

"Given the current wildfire situation and the expected increase in wildfire activity, the Province is taking this extraordinary measure of declaring a provincial state of emergency," the notice read. "This is an urgent situation and public safety is the top priority. The Province will continue to keep the public informed in this rapidly evolving situation."

Evacuation alerts and orders have been issued for Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Princeton, in addition to those issued on Thursday for 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House.

Yesterday was "one of the busiest wildfire days in recent memory," according to the BC Wildfire Service, with 138 confirmed fires starting across the province, primarily in the central Interior.

Forecasts are calling for continued hot, dry weather, with risks of thunderstorm in many parts of the province.

The BC Wildfire Service's active widlfire map shows a small fire in Whistler on Black Bear Road that was first reported Friday. It is suspected to be human-caused. This comes less than a week after a roughly one-hectare fire broke out near the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Local and provincial fire crews had the blaze contained within several hours. Officials said the fire was accidental, and a squatter shack with remnants of burned paper was found near the site of the fire above Painted Cliff Road. A man was questioned by police in connection with the fire.

Whistler's current fire danger rating sits at extreme, meaning all open fires are banned.

Stay up to date with wildfire activity at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status.

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