Though Vernon, BC rescinded part of its evacuation alert issued late Friday night, BC Premier John Horgan was found playing frisbee amid hundreds of ongoing wildfires across the province.
The alert was issued at 10:43 pm on Friday and was in response to the massive White Rock Lake fire, estimated at 55,000 hectares.
City officials rescinded part of the evacuation alert Saturday afternoon citing a change in weather conditions, including light rain, reported Global News. “The City of Vernon works closely with BC Wildfire Services and seeks advice on evacuation alerts and evacuation orders,” said the city in a statement issued on Saturday at 2:30 pm.
The blazing fire prompted mandatory evacuation orders for about 1000 properties in and around Vernon.
In a tweet by Horgan just after noon on Saturday, he wished BC residents a happy National Disc Golf Day.
"Apologies to anyone in the Interior that has to see this after either evacuating or losing their homes," said a resident on Twitter. "There are people who care about what's happening to you. Unfortunately he isn't one of them."
Instead of making tone deaf posts about frisbee golf the Premier should be spending every ounce of his time and energy on the fact that much of British Columbia is an out of control inferno," said independent journalist and BC Liberal leadership candidate Aaron Gunn.
"Vernon, a city of 40,000 people, is currently considering a mass evacuation. Meanwhile, NDP Premier John Horgan is playing Frisbee," said BC Liberal MLA and leadership candidate Ellis Ross.
He added: "BC needs a Premier who will put down the Frisbee and do the hard work of keeping our communities, businesses and, most importantly, people safe."
"I'm announcing today that a government led by me will build a brand new world-class institute for fighting and preventing wildfires, starting with an initial investment of $78 million," said Ross, who notes he understands the problems faced by rural BC and the "importance of overcoming our wildfire crisis."
Shortly after the initial tweet, Horgan tweeted: "Please. When wildfire evacuation orders are issued, you need to go. It will protect you, your family, and the countless firefighters and emergency workers trying to keep us safe from out of control wildfires."
Statistics from Emergency Management BC indicated 64 evacuation orders by the BC government, which affected around 4,300 properties. Residents of some 21,000 other properties also received a warning to be ready to leave on short notice.
The BCWS said that personnel must contend with two dozen new fires over the past 48 hours, adding to the almost 270 active fires across the province.
They confirmed this week that some 1,275 fires this year have scorched 501,676 hectares of land as of last week. That’s less than half of the worst fire season when 1,354,384 hectares burned in 2018.
The devastating June wildfire that ravaged Lytton, BC caused $78-million in damage.
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