It may come as no surprise for those with relatives in the BC Interior, but the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) has shut down between Hope and Merritt, as wildfires engulf the area. The direction comes from BC Transportation, and more information will come at 4PM local time today.

There are currently over 250 wildfires around BC, with a high concentration in the Interior region. While this has been an ongoing issue for weeks, situations reached a dire state over the weekend. This has led to evacuation orders and alerts for a number of communities, including West Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops. You can check out the full list here.

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For those who are travelling in the area, and not residents, it is advised that you safely return home, rather than staying in nearby hotels and other accommodations. Anecdotal reports have come out that emergency lodging has proven difficult, especially for tourist-heavy communities.

Finally, for those not affected by the fires, but looking to help, the Canadian Red Cross has set up a fund specifically to help cover expenses for those forced to evacuate. Additionally, the Vancouver Firefighter Charities will be hosting a fundraiser this Thursday, August 19th for the same cause. Donations will be matched by the federal government, so every $1 donated means $2 of funding.

Stay safe out there, folks.