Tens of thousands of British Columbians are urging for a State of Emergency to be declared over the devastating wildfires taking place in the province.
An online petition that was started five days ago has drawn over 14,000 signatures at the time of writing.
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“With the ever-increasing number of wildfires every single day, hour, and minute, BC needs more help from the federal government,” the petition reads.
“Our firefighters are stretched thin. Helicopters and heavy equipment are scattered all throughout BC, making it tough to focus on the larger fires that are threatening bigger communities.”
Earlier this month, 90% of the small town of Lytton, BC, was ravaged by a devastating fire. The blaze began shortly after several days of temperatures that broke nationwide records. Photos and videos posted onto social media showed the out-of-control wildfire destroying buildings in the community.
“With the recent devastating news of Lytton being completely destroyed by the roaring wildfires, this should have been an automatic call to declare a State of Emergency in BC,” the petition argues.
“Now, the Sparks Lake fire near Kamloops border is threatening coming closer and closer to this ‘main vein’ of a city.”
According to the BC Wildfire Service, there are currently 37 wildfires of note in the province, including the Sparks Lake fire, which has grown to 45,167 hectares.
There are a total of 246 wildfires in BC that are larger than 0.0009 hectares. Environment Canada has also issued air quality warnings for much of the province’s interior.