Local agencies are on standby to assist with the wildfire situation across the province but have not yet been deployed.
Craig Bird, an assistant fire chief with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS), said the department has two engines and about eight members ready to go wherever needed.
He said these states of emergency require a balance of not depleting resources at the local level while being able to assist when resources are short elsewhere.
Also ready to be dispatched at a moment’s notice are personnel with the Salvation Army in Abbotsford, along with units in Terrace and Chilliwack.
Deb Lowell of the Salvation Army’s B.C. division said teams are currently in place in Williams Lake, Prince George and Kamloops. They are assisting first responders and evacuees with food, hydration and emotional support, she said.
John McEwan, divisional emergency disaster services director for B.C., said the Salvation Army prepared more than 1,000 breakfast meals for evacuees yesterday alone.
“It is is our mission to offer hope and practical support in the midst of devastating circumstances,” he said.
Requests have started to come to Lower Mainland fire departments for help in the Cariboo and Interior regions, where highways are closed, houses have burned and towns such as 100 Mile House have been evacuated due to raging wildfires.