A travel ban to hotels and campgrounds in some wildfire affected southern Interior was lifted at midnight, according to B.C.’s Minister of Emergency Management.

The order was implemented on Saturday to make space for thousands of evacuees, firefighters, and other first responders. It restricted travel to and temporary accommodation in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Kamloops, Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton and Vernon. Although the ban was lifted at midnight earlier today (August 23), non-essential travel to West Kelowna remains prohibited.

The travel ban to West Kelowna will stay in place until Sept. 4, but could be rescinded earlier if conditions allow.

“If you are planning on travelling in B.C., please do so safely and avoid fire-affected communities,” said Bowinn Ma, minister of emergency management in a release. “Know before you go and be prepared. Many communities continue to be impacted by wildfires and continue to face challenges. Listen to the direction of local communities. Respect emergency orders and alerts.”

The minister also recommended travellers check DriveBC for highway closures, along with the BC Wildfire Service and EmergencyInfoBC for evacuation updates, before embarking on their journey. She noted that while some communities are not included in the revised ban, it still may not be a good time to visit due to the dynamic wildfire situations.

“While many communities in the Interior are looking forward to welcoming people, others, like Lake Country and the Shuswap, are advising that now is not a good time to visit,” said Ma.

Ma noted the government continues to work with local governments and First Nations to place people in the accommodations that are now available, as multiple wildfires cause evacuation alerts and orders across the southern Interior.