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Wildfire season adding complex layer to COVID-19, says Interior Health

Click to play video: 'Christie Mountain wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares, officials concerned about possible winds' Christie Mountain wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares, officials concerned about possible winds
WATCH: Officials are finalizing their plans for evacuation centres in case the winds turn against firefighters overnight. Jules Knox reports. – Aug 21, 2020

Wildfires, and the threat of being evacuated, are adding more complex layers to the tangled, layered mess of COVID-19.

With the Christie Mountain wildfire raging in the background, Interior Health said on Friday it is taking every precaution possible to ensure patient safety.

When the fire broke out on Tuesday and quickly exploded in size, an evacuation order affecting 319 properties was quickly issued. That was followed by an evacuation alert for nearly 3,700 properties in Penticton.

Read more: B.C.’s Christie Mountain wildfire steady, but wind and thunderstorms in Friday forecast

Now, with winds barreling through the South Okanagan, there’s the possibility the fire could grow, resulting in that evacuation alert turning into an order.

Further, weather forecasts for the Okanagan and Boundary regions are projecting possible rain, thunderstorms and lightning.

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“Our emergency operation centre is activated and planning includes public health measures to protect against COVID-19,” said Interior Health.

“This year, wildfires are more complicated due to COVID-19. Everyone should start planning safe places to relocate now in the event you are evacuated from your home.”

Click to play video: 'Strong wind in the Okanagan during wildfire season' Strong wind in the Okanagan during wildfire season
Strong wind in the Okanagan during wildfire season – Aug 21, 2020

Interior Health continued, saying “if you are vulnerable to the risks of COVID-19, or plan to reside with someone who is vulnerable, consider ways to reduce your contacts and bubble now to help keep yourself and your hosts safe.”

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