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Evacuee encourages others to access Emergency Support Services

The Emergency Support Services are supporting evacuees of wildfires in the TNRD and are based out of the McArthur Island Sports Center in Kamloops.
July 28, 2021 - 7:30 AM

Spences Bridge wildfire evacuee, Kathleen Kinasewich, is receiving Emergency Support Services at the McArthur Island Sports Center in Kamloops, something she is very thankful for after days of living with uncertainty.

Her home was one of 169 ordered to evacuate on July 22 as the Lytton Creek wildfire hit the town.

Kinasewich and her husband left that day with their dogs to stay with friends in Barriere. She describes her last few days as being “like the Twilight Zone” and she wouldn’t want to go through it without the support of Emergency Support Services, a provincial disaster relief organization coordinated by the City.

“We had been on alert for three days before being ordered to leave,” Kinasewich said. “The Lytton Creek fire had come over the mountain across from us. We saw these huge plumes of smoke and we were just waiting for the order. There has been smoke and ash in the air there since the Lytton Creek fire started.”

The couple first went to Barriere where they were able to shop for food and look after their dogs. They then registered themselves as evacuees through the Thompson Nicola Regional District website.

“The Emergency Support Services have been wonderful and I am so happy to have their help,” she said. “The friends we are billeting with are receiving $40 per night for hosting us, the SPCA has been helping to provide food for my animals, and today I am picking up a package of food items and essentials put together by volunteers.”

Kinasewich has been relying on connections who have stayed in Spences Bridge to keep them updated on the condition of their home and town.

“Some neighbours refused to leave and put sprinkler systems on homes and structures,” she said. “There are crews doing backburning in a couple of areas around town. Everything around us is going to be completely black char. And now that fire is actually on the other side of the highway and it’s working its way up to Logan Lake.”

While the evacuation order remains in place, Kinasewich is doing what she can do to stay positive and keep her family and dogs safe. She encourages evacuees to register for Emergency Support Services with the TNRD if they have not done so. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 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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