If you've got a trip planned to Kelowna in the next few days and you just can't stay away despite there being multiple wildfires currently surrounding the area - and which are literally burning their way into it from almost all sides - you absolutely can. And you should.
I'm encouraging you to please take a deep breath of that clean air you're currently living in and reconsider that trip.
Re-book it. Come back in a few weeks when your holiday will feel less like a hellish nightmare and more like a relaxing getaway in this region that is generally a fabulous place to kick your feet up and enjoy some time away.
As I sit here in the newsroom of V.I.A.'s partner publication Castanet, where reporters have had record-breaking website traffic due to the amount of stories they've been putting out, keeping the locals informed on the evolving situation, I wonder what I'm even doing here, even though I came to help with their news gathering effort.
As of the time of this writing, 10,700 residents have been evacuated from their homes in the region, many of whom won't have a home left to return to. Many of them are looking for hotels to stay in, as are the stream of firefighters that continue to arrive, and as will be the people who have yet to be evacuated. The situation is far from over.
As I walked the downtown area I noticed multiple businesses have either shut down completely for the time being or have reduced their hours as to discourage people from travelling here, and to help out others in their community.
Wildfires have taken out countless hectares of forest and yet-to-be-counted homes, and the Kelowna landfill is on fire.
Re-read that last paragraph.
The frickin landfill is on fire.
Stay away from here for now, and come when the time is right.
And if you need more reason aside from doing the right thing, consider that there's now an official order from the province that forbids you from travelling here for pleasure.