STATEMENT: Salmon Arm, BC- Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan-Shuswap, released the following statement today regarding the ongoing wildfire emergencies in the North Okanagan-Shuswap:

For Immediate Release

August 21, 2023

“As North Okanagan-Shuswap communities continue to face threats and destruction of evolving wildfires, my staff and I continue to respond to requests from residents affected by the wildfires.

“Emergencies like wildfires are managed first by local governments and if additional resources are required, local governments may request assistance from the provincial government that can likewise request assistance from the federal government.

“British Columbia’s official Request for Federal Assistance has been in place since July 16, 2023, and my office and I have been working with the office of the federal Minister of Emergency Preparedness to seek details of federal contributions to wildfire response in our communities.

“We have also been connecting with local governments leading wildfire responses to ensure that any requirements for federal support and resources they provide my office are conveyed to the federal minister’s office in a timely manner.

“Especially in emergency situations, it is essential that governments, agencies, officials, and members of the public work cooperatively within their respective roles and responsibilities; my team and I will continue to work cooperatively with local and provincial government officials leading the wildfire responses.

“Public safety for our communities is a top priority that I share with constituents who have contacted me in recent days.

“Emergencies such as the wildfires we face today impact us all, and my thoughts are with those on the frontlines of fighting the fires and those who have lost their homes to the fires.

“The best way for our communities to get through the present wildfire emergencies is to work cooperatively and respectfully in support of the wildfire response led by the local and provincial authorities and move us towards the rebuilding and recovery that our communities need.”