Kelowna RCMP is reminding the public to stay out of wildfire evacuation zones.
“If you are ordered to leave, you’re lawfully obligated to do so,” explained Supt. Kara Triance during a regional wildfire update Saturday (Aug. 19). “Sending our law enforcement and emergency personnel back into evacuated areas to assist people to get out is a great risk to our officers and first responders.”
Triance added that two individuals tried to force their way back into an evacuated area this morning and were escorted out by officers. She also said there have been several reports of people loitering behind barriers and security checkpoints.
“I can assure you right now that we have no confirmed break and enters at this time. We encourage anyone to report any suspicious activity. If you see something, say something.”
As of this morning, 44 additional officers were stationed in the Central Okanagan, coming from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the North District.
“To ensure that we can provide an appropriate and coordinated regional response to this fire,” said Triance. “We greatly appreciate the chiefs of police in all those communities who have released their officers to assist us.”
She said police officers continue to carry out door-to-door alert and evacuation notices, secure emergency exit routes, and perform static and roving patrols.
Triance also had several reminders for the public including boaters to stay out of the way of firefighting aircraft and keep personal drones away from wildfire areas.
“We have had multiple reports of drones flying through emergency areas,” she said. “If a drone is in the area, you will ground a helicopter. It is illegal to fly a personal drone in an emergency situation where we are fighting fires.”