Permitting Entry Into an Evacuation Order Area

Year
2019
Category
Legislative
NCLGA Ref#
R14

Status

NCLGA Executive Recommendation: No Recommendation | Endorsed by the NCLGA Membership

Details

Whereas wildfire events are increasing in frequency, intensity, and duration, and local governments and the BC Wildfire Service are required to implement an efficient, effective, and coordinated approach to address the demand for persons, equipment, and supplies requiring entry into an evacuation order area;

And whereas the BC Wildfire Service does not have a comprehensive permitting process to facilitate the entry of support personnel, equipment, and supplies into an evacuation order area, and the Emergency Program Act and British Columbia Emergency Management System do not address, recognize, or provide any direction regarding the permitting of residents, farmers, or persons working in coordination with the BC Wildfire Service to enter into an evacuation order area:

Therefore be it resolved that the Province work with local governments to develop a permitting system and associated policy, procedures, and best practices that facilitate the necessary entry of persons, equipment, and supplies into an evacuation order area;

And be it further resolved that the Province consider the need for legislation that addresses the risk management issues associated with allowing entry into an evacuation order area.

Responses

The Resolutions Committee advises that the UBCM membership has not previously asked the Province to work with local governments to develop a permitting system to facilitate the necessary entry of persons, equipment and supplies into an evacuation order area.

However, the membership has consistently endorsed resolutions requesting provincial assistance with the provision of emergency services, including 2018-B95, 2017-B86, 2016-B56, 2015-B7, 2015-B77, 2015-B78, 2014-B76, 2013-A1, 2013-B44.

In 2016, as part of its work to amend the Emergency Program Act, the provincial government released "Prepared and Resilient: A Discussion Paper on the Legislative Framework for Emergency Management in British Columbia." The discussion paper contained a number of policy proposals, although none were related to the development of a process for authorizing re-entry into evacuated areas during emergencies. Evacuation orders were addressed through a proposal that would provide police the authority to apprehend individuals who refused to comply with evacuation orders issued under a declared state of emergency. The Province has recently indicated that it would like to restart its work to amend and modernize the Act. However, as of March 2019, the Province has yet to introduce any amendments to the Act.

See also resolution R13

North Central Local Government Association