Minister’s statement on accommodation and travel restrictions

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  • Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate
    Readiness, has released the following statement about travel
    restrictions for the purpose of staying in temporary accommodation:

    “In recent days, B.C. experienced some of the most devastating
    wildfires in our history. We want to express our deepest gratitude to
    everyone who cancelled their plans to travel to the Interior in recent
    days, as well as to our partners in the tourism industry for their
    support and understanding.

    “The emergency order we put in place on Saturday has had the effect
    we required and thousands of hotel rooms were made available for
    people forced from their homes, as well as the many firefighters and
    emergency crews who are protecting us during the worst wildfire
    season in our history. Working with local governments and First
    Nations, we will continue to place people in the accommodations that
    are now available.

    “Because of this, we are lifting travel restrictions for the purpose of
    staying in temporary accommodation for most of the southern Interior,
    with the exception of West Kelowna. The order will be lifted for

    Kelowna, Kamloops, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton and Vernon starting
    tomorrow, Aug. 23, 2023.
    “Non-essential travel to West Kelowna continues to be prohibited for
    the purpose of staying in temporary accommodation, including hotels,
    motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, hostels, RV parks, and
    campgrounds, to ensure accommodation is available for those who
    may need it.

    “If you are planning on travelling in B.C., please do so safely and
    avoid fire-affected communities. Know before you go and be prepared.
    Many communities continue to be impacted by wildfires and continue
    to face challenges. Listen to the direction of local communities.
    Respect emergency orders and alerts. While many communities in the
    Interior are looking forward to welcoming people, others, like Lake
    Country and the Shuswap, are advising that now is not a good time
    to visit.

    “We’re asking anyone who’s travelling to monitor information from the
    BC Wildfire Service, EmergencyInfoBC and DriveBC. Highway 1
    between Chase and Sorrento remains closed.

    “We want to thank everyone for their empathy and willingness to
    change their plans to support their fellow British Columbians who are
    impacted by these devastating wildfires. The situation remains
    dynamic. We will continue to assess the situation, work with local
    governments and First Nations, and adapt our response as needed
    to.” (https://news.gov.bc.ca/29399)

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