British Columbia has set a record this year for the amount of land scorched by wildfires as the province extended a state of emergency to Sept. 12.
Provincial statistics show almost 12,985 square kilometres have burned this year, eclipsing last year’s mark of 12,160 square kilometres.
There have been 2,011 fires so far this summer, more than last year’s total of 1,353.
The province says extending the state of emergency for another 14 days ensures all the resources needed for public safety can be delivered.
There are 534 wildfires burning in B.C., with 34 evacuation orders affecting about 3,200 people.
Another 53 evacuation alerts affected about 21,800 people.
The provincial government says the decision to extend the state of emergency will help those who are under evacuation orders and alerts.
It gives agencies like Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner and the RCMP the authority to take whatever action is needed to fight the fires and protect residents and their communities.
In 2017, the province was under a state of emergency for 10 weeks because of wildfires that forced 65,000 people from their homes.
It was extended four times and finally ended on Sept. 15.