Minister defends fire-related travel ban that cost Okanagan communities millions

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Feb 23, 2024 – Klaudia Van Emmerik/Global News

Bowinn Ma is defending her ministry’s decision to issue a regional travel ban last August due to the McDougall Creek wildfire that erupted in West Kelowna, B.C.

“I want to emphasize that decisions around states of emergencies and travel orders are not made lightly,” said the Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

“The conditions had rapidly escalated and the projections grew to more than 28,000 people on evacuation order and 36,000 more people on evacuation alert who could have needed to evacuate at any moment.

“In addition, I was hearing at the time from senior executives of key response partners that access to accommodations were hampering their ability to import critical response personnel, firefighters, health-care workers and more to the places where they were desperately needed,” Ma said.

“And this is what led to the declaration of a provincial state of emergency and the subsequent order that it enabled.”Global News

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