As our COVID case counts reach their lowest numbers in more than a year, and more and more British Columbians become fully-vaccinated every day, we can look forward with cautious optimism that we are finally turning the tide in our fight against COVID. It has taken incredible sacrifices from everyone in the Peace River region and across B.C. for us to reach this point. Although the Province has moved into stage 3 of its restart program, it is important to remember that our work is not over yet. It’s important to stay home if you’re not feeling well and follow the public health orders that remain in place.
Of course, COVID is not the only challenge our communities are facing, as much of our province was recently engulfed in a tremendous heat wave. Although we northerners are no strangers to extreme weather, whether it be summer or winter, this was a record-breaking kind of heat that can be incredibly dangerous. It’s an important reminder for us to watch out for one another, especially those that are more at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Don’t forget to check on older adults, children and others for signs of heat-related illness, and make sure you are keeping cool and drinking plenty of fluids at every opportunity. Never keep your pets or children locked inside vehicles, and check the B.C. government website for more info on how you can keep yourself and your loved ones cool and safe.
As the heat wave breaks records across western Canada, we have already seen the horrific impacts it can bring to our communities and the risks that will linger long after the heat wave has passed. After breaking the record for the hottest recorded temperature in Canada, the town of Lytton in the southern Interior was hit with a fast-moving forest fire. With very little warning, residents had to grab whatever they could and leave their homes for safety. My heart goes out to all those who have been impacted by these horrific events. The incredible actions and courage of local officials, firefighters, emergency responders, and volunteers cannot be understated, and we are incredibly grateful for the work they have done and continue to do in this time of crisis.
This forest fire season has the potential to be one of the worst on record, which is why it is more important than ever for us to be fire smart and practice safe habits to reduce the risk of forest fires. Don’t forget to visit the B.C. Wildfire Service webpage for more info.
From my family to yours, I hope you all have a safe and fantastic summer.
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