B.C. officials ask self-evacuees to return home | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. officials ask self-evacuees to return home

Thick smoke from the B.C. wildfires is seen over Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, B.C. on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
August 25, 2018 - 11:38 AM

VICTORIA - Accommodations are reaching capacity in many communities across the province due to evacuees from wildfires and smoke.

Emergency Management B.C. is asking people, who have self-evacuated to larger communities due to smoke, to consider returning home.

A media release sent by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says Emergency Social Services are intended to help those on evacuation order. While some exceptions were made during this wildfire season, accommodations are now needed for those on evacuation order.

Because smoky conditions shift and move, self-evacuating to another community does not guarantee a person's exposure will be reduced, and unnecessary relocation or travel, the release says.

If you are not on evacuation order and you are worried about smoke issues in your area officials recommend:

  • Stay indoors and keep the air clean (windows/doors closed, no smoking, no burning fireplaces/candles/incense, no vacuuming).
  • Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. Avoid vigorous outdoor activities.
  • When in a vehicle, keep windows closed with air conditioning set to recirculate.
  • Visit places with controlled air supply, such as shopping malls, swimming pools, public libraries, etc.
  • People with asthma, or other chronic illnesses, should ensure they have an adequate supply of inhalers/medication, and should activate their asthma or personal protection plans.
  • Visit HealthLinkBC: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/
  • Call 811 (non-emergency) or visit your health practitioner for non-emergency medical assistance.
  • Call 911 only during an emergency, e.g., if someone is having difficulty breathing, or is in cardiovascular distress.

Returning home will help host-community Emergency Social Services create the capacity for people who have been evacuated from their homes due to a direct wildfire threat.

Learn More:

Go to a live map of smoke conditions in B.C.

For up-to-date information on air quality

Go to the latest air quality advisories or smoky skies bulletins.

For more tips on how to breathe easier during increased wildfire activity.

For information on evacuation orders and alerts, go to your local authority's public information channels and Emergency Info B.C.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity.

For road conditions go to the Drive B.C. webpage.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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