VIDEO: Wildfire emergency extended two more weeks

Another $600 available for long-term evacuees, Premier John Horgan says

The B.C. government’s state of emergency is extended for an extra two weeks, providing additional $600 payments for people who have been forced from their homes by fires.

Premier John Horgan and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced the extension after their first cabinet meeting in Victoria Wednesday.

“We’re going to increase that one-time payment to a second time payment for every 14 days that people are evacuated from their homes.” Horgan said. “This is unprecedented. Traditionally, when an emergency is declared, people are usually back in their homes within the two-week period. That may not be the case for many individuals, and in fact there are still those impacted by floods in the Okanagan and are out of their homes beyond the 14-day period. They too will be captured with this increase in funds.”

Roughly 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to help battle B.C. wildfires.

A convoy of army vehicles from CFB Edmonton headed to Williams Lake stopped in Prince George lasr Thursday night and Quesnel Friday morning,

The members will be working checkpoints and supporting RCMP on the ground.

Details of registration are available at www.redcross.ca or evacuees can call 1-800-863-6582.

Horgan said the $100 million emergency fund established by the previous government earlier this month is expected to cover the additional costs. The original provincial declaration was to expire Friday at midnight.

Donaldson discussed the fire situation with outgoing forests minister John Rustad, and B.C. Liberal MLAs Donna Barnett, Coralee Oakes and Jackie Tegart are working with the new NDP government.

A cabinet task force visited the fire-affected region this week.