It’s been a difficult month in the B.C. Interior. As our communities continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, heatwaves and wildfires have endangered lives and livelihoods across the province in what is lining up to be one of the most devastating fire seasons in recent history — and it’s taking a toll on all of us.
Not only have our small businesses and tourism operators been deeply impacted by the ongoing smoke, wildfires, and highway closures; many of our ranchers and farmers — a staple of our province’s economy — are struggling as wildfires destroy grazing lands, property, wildlife, and even cattle. This is not only putting their livelihoods at risk, but will bring incredible challenges to our province’s food security if our farmers are not offered the right support.
As evacuation alerts and orders are being issued across the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and B.C.’s Interior, it is now more important than ever that we do our part to support one another and stay prepared. Remember to check up on loved ones and those most vulnerable in our communities by staying in contact and ensuring we all have an evacuation kit and plan at the ready.
We can do more to support one another than just ensuring we are prepared in case disaster strikes. Between COVID-19 and the ongoing wildfires, we need to continue to buy local and support our communities, all doing our part to keep our businesses and farming operations open and help aid in a speedy recovery.
My heart goes out to everyone currently being evacuated and everyone impacted by the wildfires at this time. I also want to say a sincere thank you to all emergency responders and volunteers — both from within B.C. and abroad — currently fighting to keep our province safe.