Sun Peaks resident on evacuation alert alarmed at lack of lodging in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sun Peaks resident on evacuation alert alarmed at lack of lodging in Kamloops

Lauren Birchard's view of the Embleton Mountain wildfire from her living room window in Sun Peaks, Tuesday, July 7, 2021.
Image Credit: Lauren Birchard
July 14, 2021 - 6:00 AM

Residents of Sun Peaks are worried there is no lodging available in Kamloops in the event of an evacuation. 

They are currently on alert due to proximity to the Embleton Mountain wildfire near Whitecroft.

When resident Lauren Birchard received notice of the alert on Sunday, June 11, she began making phone calls to Kamloops motels to check availability for herself, her husband and her dog in the event an evacuation was issued. To her alarm, there were no rooms available.

“I am the type of person who likes to have a plan in place,” Birchard said. “I called around and some motels were pet friendly, however, they were sold out of rooms. There’s literally nowhere, I even checked places in Merritt. Luckily we haven’t been evacuated but I’m glad I looked now versus when we got an order. This would have added a whole new stress to the situation.”

She says there is a discrepancy between what is available through online booking applications and what is actually available.

“I looked online and it showed rooms were available in a few motels,” Birchard reported. “But I made the phone calls to the motels and I was informed they were full.”

Many rooms in Kamloops are currently booked up with wildfire evacuees and vacationers.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District is providing emergency services to residents living on properties under an evacuation order. Residents who cannot find places to stay in Kamloops with friends are being directed to the Emergency Services Centre in Salmon Arm.

Birchard warns others who are looking for lodging in Kamloops to call in advance.

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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