No room at the inn in BC communities affected by fire
The BC government is restricting people staying in temporary accommodation for non-essential reasons in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, Osooyoos and Oliver.
It’s to leave rooms free for fire fighters and evacuees.
As of Saturday afternoon there were 35,0000 people in the interior on evacuation order, and 30,000 on evacuation alert. That’s 20,000 more than Friday evening.
Firefighters are calling Friday night “harrowing.” Fires are moving quickly and people don’t have much time to evacuate. Officials are calling on people to leave right away when they get the order, and to be ready to go when they’re put on alert.
The province went under a state of emergency on Friday. The order restricting non-essential accommodation is a mechanism of the emergency measure. The order will be in place until Sept. 4.
B.C. Premier David Eby is asking people already checked in to hotels or campgrounds in the seven interior communities, to leave early.
There’s an urgent need for accommodation, he said.
The province isn’t restricting through travel. But it’s telling people to stay out of the Okanagan, Kamloops and Shuswap unless it’s essential.
Essential travel includes:
* providing emergency or critical services;
* travelling for health or medical reasons;
* transporting essential goods and supplies;
* attending court or complying with a court order;
* attending a funeral service;
* avoiding the risk of abuse or violence;
* exercising parental responsibilities;
* attending classes or training; and
* exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right.
Here in Revelstoke are people whose homes burned down in Kelowna and other evacuees, as well as people whose vacation plans have been waylaid by the fires. Hotels are filling up and the city is opening up Centennial Park for campers affected by the fires only. Public washrooms will also stay open 24 hours.