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Justin Trudeau to tour B.C. wildfire zones next week

The area of Boston Flats, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, July 11, 2017 after a wildfire ripped through the area earlier in the week.
The area of Boston Flats, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, July 11, 2017 after a wildfire ripped through the area earlier in the week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be heading to British Columbia next week to tour areas affected by ongoing wildfires.

Trudeau confirmed the trip during a morning press conference with B.C.’s new NDP premier, John Horgan, on Tuesday in Ottawa.

B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

Trudeau said he wants to see the emergency response efforts for himself, and “assess the extent of the damages.”

Members of the federal cabinet, including Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, visited the wildfire zones over the weekend.

“We’ve been working very closely with our provincial partners to help those affected by the fires,” Trudeau said Tuesday.

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“We’ve deployed the Canadian Armed Forces and provided beds and blankets … the federal government will also be providing significant amounts of financial support to the province through programs like the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements to help the response and recovery process.”

Ottawa is also making a donation to the Red Cross that will equal the total dollar amount being paid to every registered wildfire evacuee household throughout the evacuation period.

READ MORE: Video shows terrifying drive to escape B.C. wildfire

The fires have displaced tens of thousands of British Columbians in recent weeks. The province remains under a state of emergency as about 152 wildfires continue to burn. Fifteen blazes are currently threatening communities.

Horgan has extended the state of emergency by two weeks to Aug. 4.

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