Most B.C. wildfire travel restrictions to end at midnight, minister says

Most B.C. wildfire travel restrictions to end at midnight, minister says
Thick smoke from wildfires burning in the area hangs in the air as motorists travel on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

British Columbia’s minister of emergency management says a wildfire ban restricting travel to hotels or campgrounds in many communities in the southern Interior is to lift at midnight.

Bowinn Ma says non-essential travel to West Kelowna continues to be prohibited and people are being urged to stay away from the Lake Country and Shuswap areas.

The order was put in place Saturday and restricted travel for the purpose of staying in temporary accommodations to many communities, including Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Kamloops.

It was designed to make space for the thousands of evacuees ordered out of their homes due to hundreds of wildfires burning around the province.

Evacuation orders remain in place affecting an estimated 27,000 people.

Ma says the province will continue to place evacuees in the accommodations that are now available working with local governments and First Nations.

She says anyone planning on travelling in B.C., should avoid fire-affected communities and respect evacuation orders and alerts.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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