No vacancy sign, no date, Pixabay

Lack of hotel rooms could be an issue for wildfire evacuees

Anyone needing to evacuate is encouraged to try to stay with family or friends to free up space

A shortage of hotel rooms has prompted Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to ask people in wildfire-affected communities to plan their accommodations in advance, in the event that they need to evacuate, to ensure capacity for evacuees who need hotel rooms.

Anyone who has the option to stay with family or friends is being encouraged to make that arrangement, so that commercial accommodations have capacity for evacuees who have no other option.

The Canadian Red Cross is working alongside local authorities and EMBC on the allocation of accommodations for evacuees. Those requiring accommodations are still encouraged to contact Emergency Support Services.

EMBC is also urging people who have self-evacuated to larger communities due to smoky conditions to consider returning home. Because smoky conditions shift and move, self-evacuating to another community does not guarantee that exposure to smoke will be reduced. Unnecessary relocation or travel will only add stress and anxiety that can also have negative health effects.

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

* 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.

The FireWork Forecast shows maps of predicted smoke impacts over the next 48 hours. Go to https://weather.gc.ca/firework/.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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B.C. Wildfires 2021