The State of Local Emergency pertaining to the Copper Canyon wildfire north of Duncan and west of Chemainus has been extended by one week.
The 32-hectare wildfire is largely contained and at a status of ‘being held,’ but not yet deemed under control, resulting in the extension of the State of Local Emergency until Friday, August 20.
Declaring a State of Local Emergency allows local authorities to exercise the emergency powers listed in the Emergency Program Act. The emergency powers could be utilized by the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Regional Emergency Operations Centre to order the evacuation of residents from their homes, prohibit travel and enter private property when an emergency threatens lives, property or the environment within the jurisdiction.
Only one property was assessed an evacuation order since the fire started on Aug. 5.
To keep the current evacuation order in place as recommended by the BC Wildfire Service, the State of Local Emergency required an extension.
The size of the emergency area significantly exceeds the size of the threat from the fire. For residents with properties within the area, any change in status that poses imminent or immediate threats to safety of life or property would result in further evacuation alerts or orders.
No need for any further action is anticipated at this time.
The BC Wildfire Service reports there’s been no change to the size of the fire overnight despite hot, dry and windy conditions at the site. Resources on the scene have not changed since earlier in the week.
Smoke from wildfires burning in other regions of British Columbia has entered the airshed and degraded air quality in the Cowichan region. Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Smoky Skies Bulletin for Southern B.C. yesterday, advising people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory conditions and other sensitive populations to exercise caution when outdoors.
The REOC continues to monitor the situation in partnership with the Municipality of North Cowichan and the Halalt First Nation.