Off-road vehicles banned in BC backcountry due to fire risk

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The last provincial state of emergency was declared in August 2003, also to deal with wildfires.

The ban is for the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre, and Southeast Fire Centre. "To help provide ongoing relief, New Zealand is sending a team of firefighters and operational personnel to provide frontline and incident management support to local firefighters".

As of 9 a.m. on Friday (August 4), there were 122 wildfires burning in B.C. As of 8 p.m. on Thursday (August 3), there were 25 evacuation orders affecting approximately 7,127 individuals, plus 42 evacuation alerts impacting approximately 24,957 people. "These include experience in logistics, communications, ferrying supplies into remote locations, and the use of aircraft". The worst affected region is British Columbia where more than 474,000 hectares have gone up in flames and 135 fires continue to burn out of control.

The province remains in a declared State of Emergency and the extreme fire danger is expected to continue, with no weather relief forecast on the horizon.

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Current firefighting efforts in British Columbia remain focused on public safety and keeping highway evacuation routes open.

O'Connor said the New Zealand contingent would join the 3000-plus people and 200 planes now engaged in the British Columbia operation.

This will be New Zealand's 20th worldwide rural fire deployment, and the fourth and largest contingent to Canada since the first deployment there in 2009, he said.

In total, 661 New Zealand rural firefighters will have been deployed internationally since deployments began in 2000.

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