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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Hospital, long-term care patients moved pre-emptively as officials eye approaching B.C. wildfire

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VANCOUVER — Hospital patients and long-term care residents in two B.C. towns are being moved out proactively as officials keep watch on evacuation alerts in the area.

Some patients of the 100 Mile District General Hospital will be treated elsewhere for the time being, the Interior Health Authority said in a statement Wednesday.

On Thursday, the health authority broadened its proactive evacuation to include 11 long-term care residents from Ashcroft, B.C., as well as an additional 40 such residents from 100 Mile House.

Those 40 residents join 17 people Interior Health had already announced would be evacuated on Wednesday. Six of those are residents of long-term care, and two are what Interior Health described as “community care” patients. Nine are in acute care.

The 100 Mile District General Hospital has not been evacuated, and anyone in the area should still seek treatment there if needed.

However, Interior Health is monitoring wildfire activity across the region, and the moves are meant to “ensure the safe continuity of (patients’) care,” it said.

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic in 100 Mile House has also been cancelled due to fire concerns, according to Interior Health.

The District of 100 Mile House is under an evacuation alert as crews battle the Deka Lake Wildfire. The nearby Cariboo Regional District has ordered some residents of a neighbouring area to leave their homes, while others in the CRD are also on alert and told to be ready to leave with short notice.  

The most recent information on the fire from the BC Wildfire Service was that the blaze southwest of Deka Lake was being held, and had reached 650 hectares in size.

Mitch Campsall, mayor of 100 Mile House, says people are getting concerned as they see fires in the area drawing closer, but that residents are prepared if they need to leave.

He told CTV News he’d like to see a state of emergency declared in the province, as would many municipal officials, but he said they also feel they’re getting support.

“We’re not being ignored by any stretch of the imagination,” Campsall said.

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