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Travel warning in parts of Interior

VICTORIA – Given the current wildfire situation in B.C., which is expected to worsen over the weekend, the Province is asking people to not travel to parts of the Interior region until further notice.

This includes the communities of Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Okanagan Indian Band, Enderby, and parts of the Regional District North Okanagan.

Increased fire activity in the area is forecasted over the weekend, including significant winds that may move fires quickly due to the nature of the terrain. The next 72 hours will be critical, and the Province is preparing for more evacuation orders and alerts.

“We’re taking this proactive step because we want to ensure people in these communities are able to evacuate if necessary, access the supports they need, as well as the safety of our firefighters on the ground,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “While we are acting out of an abundance of caution, this situation is very serious and could get worse quickly. If you were planning to travel to the area, now is not the time to do so.”

There are multiple fires threatening communities in the region and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes, many requiring commercial accommodation. Communities in the region are also extremely smoky and hot, with above seasonal temperatures.

Interior Health has also advised that non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan should be avoided due to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

For those who live in the region, government is not asking you to leave. Be ready to go if you’re under an evacuation alert. For evacuation orders, leave immediately.

Learn More:

To view the areas under threat that are not open for travellers, see this map: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/travel-warning-interior-region-of-bc

Supports available:

* To help people and communities manage and recover from the impacts of wildfires, the Province has assembled a list of the key resources people may need.
Click on “recovery and support resources” at: www.EmergencyInfoBC.ca(http://www.emergencyinfobc.ca/)

* To register for Emergency Support Services: https://ess.gov.bc.ca/
Or call toll-free: 1 800 585-9559

* For information and resources for farms/livestock producers, including the livestock relocation program:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/emergency-management

* For information on BC Hydro bill help for British Columbians who are evacuated:
https://app.bchydro.com/accounts-billing/evacuee-help.html?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=redirect&utm_content=evacueehelp(https://app.bchydro.com/accounts-billing/evacuee-help.html?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=redirect&utm_content=evacueehelp)

* For information on how to report a claim related to wildfire damage through ICBC: https://www.icbc.com/claims/report-view/Pages/Report-a-claim-online.aspx
Or by phone (toll-free): 1 800 910-4222.

* If you have health concerns due to smoky air, extreme heat and the stress of being evacuated or on alert, dial 811 to contact HealthLink BC.

* For information on programs to help those impacted by seasonal emergencies and disasters:
* Individual and family recovery programs:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/recovery-programs#individual

* First Nations support:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/recovery-programs#nation

* Business and agriculture recovery programs:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/recovery-programs#business

* Indirect business support:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/recovery-programs#indirect

* Resources for community recovery managers:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/recovery-programs#community

* For information about private home insurance and other private insurance claims related to wildfire: http://www.ibc.ca/qc/disaster/bcwildfire

* For up-to-date information on wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST (1 888 336-7378)
Or visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

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