Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and Premier John Horgan speak after their first cabinet meeting in Victoria July 19. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

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.”

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.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice are heading to the fire-affected region this week, as part of a cabinet task force.