As of today, thirteen First Nations communities in BC are under evacuation order or alert. Yesterday, for the first time since Friday, no new evacuation alerts were issued.
Please read yesterday's message for additional information about health and social services for First Nations communities impacted by wildfire in BC.
Air quality is a growing concern in areas impacted by the wildfires. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is available at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/aqhi- table.xml and can help you understand what the air quality around you means for your health. Some areas such as Quesnel and Williams Lake are currently up to High or Very High on the index.
Clean Air Stations
FNHA Environmental Health Officers are available to support the development clean air stations and are currently contacting all impacted First Nations. Contact Environmental Public Health Services Regional Manager Casey Neathway with any questions (778.875.3486).
Help at Evacuation Centres
We recognize that many members arriving at evacuation centres are in a state of stress and may not be accessing all of the services and supports that are available. Our FNHA team members are available to help community members receive the help they need.
In Prince George (College of New Caledonia), please visit FNHA booth or contact Julie Morrison, Crisis Response Advisor, FNHA Northern Region (778.349.4376).
Traditional and Elders Support
Traditional and Elders support is available in both Kamloops and Prince George. To access these services, see the Secwepemc Health Caucus booth in Kamloops or the FNHA booth in Prince George.
Mental Health Support
FNHA recognizes and acknowledges the unique trauma to First Nations, which goes beyond loss of home and includes impacts to territory, plants and animals. Read about all mental health resources to support evacuees in Kamloops and Prince George. Find the list of First Nations Health Benefits Mental Health Providers through this link.
Clients can also connect with FNHA Mental Health counselling at 1.800.317.7878 to be connected with a counsellor.
With the current evacuations taking place in BC, some patients may not have access to their medications and will require a refill or replacement. If you need to replace or refill a prescription for medication, please go to a local pharmacy and bring your identification. If possible, also bring a copy of your prescription or medication packaging. If you don't know the details of your medication, your pharmacist will be able to look it up for you, or they can call the NIHB Drug Exception Centre.
If you have any issues with this process, please call: 1.800.317.7878.
If you require patient travel services due to the wildfires, including routine transportation to dialysis and other appointments, please contact FNHA Health Benefits at 1.800.317.7878 and we will guide you through what supports are available.
Medical Supplies and Equipment (Including Oxygen Tanks) and Eyewear
For all medical supplies and equipment, including refill or replacement of oxygen tanks and related products, please contact FNHA Health Benefits at 1.800.317.7878.
Dental Items (Dentures)
Please contact FNHA Health Benefits at 1.800.317.7878.
The FNHA Capital Assets team is committed to providing support to all facilities affected by the fires and has created an action plan to support First Nations health centres and facility needs. The FNHA Capital Assets team can be reached at 604-693-6734.
Nursing Health Centre Closures
First Nations Health Authority Public Health Nursing services are closed due to evacuation order in the following communities: Ashcroft, Bonaparte, Oregon Jack Creek, Anaham, Stone, Toosey and Alexandria. The Interior Health-operated clinic at Alexis Creek is also closed. Nursing Services will work alongside Interior Health to identify safe and appropriate care areas and, as able, impacted nursing staff will be deployed to these areas.
For questions about FNHA Nursing Services, contact Regional Nurse Manager Pam Crema 236.993.7742 or email Pamela.Crema@fnha.ca.
Stay Up To Date
Our FNHA wildfire information page (fnha.ca/wildfires) will be the main location for FNHA updates on the wildfire situation, current evacuation zones, road closures, emergency phone lines and other crucial emergency services. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as needed.
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