Dan Davies – Weekly Column – Being informed and prepared for extreme weather

As hundreds of communities and thousands of firefighters, first responders, local officials, and volunteers co…

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As hundreds of communities and thousands of firefighters, first responders, local officials, and volunteers continue to battle nearly 300 forest fires across our province, many people in the Peace region and across B.C. are feeling like we have transitioned from one dangerous state of emergency to another.

While our communities, businesses, and families are still in the process of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the relief experienced when we transitioned to step three of B.C.’s reopening plan has, for many, been overtaken by the fear and anxiety of what is lining up to be one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent history.

Although the Peace region has been relatively lucky so far, many British Columbians across the province are facing evacuation orders and alerts as fires continue to threaten lives and livelihoods in towns throughout the interior and nearly all of us have been impacted by the extreme weather and wildfire smoke. My deepest sympathies go out to everyone currently under evacuation orders. In these difficult times, the most important thing we can do is be prepared. I encourage everyone to have an evacuation plan in place in case the order ever comes, and to check on your loved ones frequently, especially our seniors and those most vulnerable in our communities.

It’s always a good idea to stay informed. You can visit https://prrd.bc.ca/ or https://northernrockies.ca  to stay up to date on the current evacuation orders and alerts and check out www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.cafor information on how best to prepare for wildfires and keep yourself and your family safe. Although we aren’t currently facing the same levels of risk as other communities in the interior right now, it is important that we adhere to all campfire bans in place, respect the tinder dry conditions in the backcountry, and all practice proper FireSmart habits when enjoying the outdoors.

As we all know, fires aren’t the only dangers we can experience in the Peace region. Many of our communities are still recovering from the storm in the area that left thousands without power and even destroyed homes and property. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Peace River Regional District which is still seeking to gather information from residents impacted so that we can be better prepared for any future storms.

I will continue to pressure the provincial government and ensure Fort St. John and the Peace River region has the resources we’ll need to make a full recovery and be prepared for future emergencies

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