West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom is urging tourists to do the right thing and free up accommodations for wildfire evacuees.
Milsom said he is encouraging tourists to make a wise decision if they are planning to travel into the area for tourism. Stay with family and friends if you can, he said, and think of those individuals who had to evacuate.
He made the comments after more than 1,000 residents from the Glenrosa area were evacuated, Sunday night, due to the Mount Law wildfire.
“I’m asking Okanagan tourists to make every effort they can to help the evacuation effort,” said Milsom.
He is also asking residents to obey evacuation orders, especially when the Mount Law wildfire is so volatile. Evacuation orders are issued to save lives, and disobeying them could have dangerous consequences.
“I want to thank residents who have obeyed evacuation orders and to the firefighters who are making every effort to fight the fire,” said Milsom.
On Monday afternoon, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth asked travellers to avoid the Interior region due to wildfires. The province’s wildfire situation has escalated in recent days as winds and droughts intensify wildfire activity, sparking evacuation alerts in Merritt, parts of Kamloops and West Kelowna.
“If you are planning to travel through these fire-affected areas, it’s time to change your plans,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a news conference on Monday, Aug. 16.
The Mount Law wildfire continues to burn at an estimated 800 hectares. The fire is suspected human-caused and is under investigation.