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Cities across the province stepping up to accept wildfire evacuees

FILE PHOTO - The Boston Flats trailer park is damaged and charred after the Ashcroft Reserve Fire ripped through it more than one week ago. Many people were displaced and have been staying at evacuation centres in Kamloops.
July 16, 2017 - 11:16 AM

Wicked weather across the province yesterday escalated the already fluid wildfire situation in B.C.'s Cariboo and Interior regions, forcing evacuations for thousands of people.

The entire City of Williams Lake was put under evacuation order last night, July 15, just before 6:30 p.m. and residents were asked to travel to Kamloops where a third evacuation centre has been put in place.

Evacuees are now being directed to the Sandman Centre in downtown Kamloops, where nearly 500 cots were set up last night to accommodate the influx of people.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District says in a news release that evacuees are encouraged to try and arrange their own accommodations with friends or family due to a limited capacity.

The people of Kamloops have also opened their doors. A Facebook group has been created where people can offer accommodations and services to evacuees.

Hundreds of properties in Lake Country were put under evacuation order or alert last night, after a 30-hectare blaze destroyed several properties. That fire is now approximately 80 per cent contained and evacuees were directed to the Salvation Army Church in Kelowna at 1480 Sutherland Ave.

Evacuees from Williams Lake are also being accepted there. 

The City of Vernon has set up an evacuation reception centre at the Vernon Curling Rink and until further notice it will be operating 24 hours per day.

The City of Chilliwack has opened an evacuation reception centre at Chilliwack Secondary School and has room for about 124 evacuees to sleep.

Evacuees affected by an evacuation order in the Clearwater area are also asked to register at the Sandman Centre. The entire Village of Clearwater is under an evacuation alert.

No matter where evacuees go, everyone is encouraged to register with the Red Cross as soon as possible by calling 1-800-863-6582.

For the most current information, you're asked to keep an eye on your regional district's website. The Thompson Nicola Regional District will be giving updates on its website, along with the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Cariboo Regional District.

For a full list of resources for evacuees, go here.

For the most up to date information on highway closures, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
InfoTel News Ltd

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