UPDATE: Fire evacuees continue to arrive

UPDATE: Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, City of Vernon Emergency Social Services registered 137 evacuees from the Cariboo region.

A total of 613 evacuees have registered in Vernon since the evacuations in Williams Lake.

At this time, all of the evacuees are being billeted by friends or family, or by people offering up homes or camping spaces. Two group lodging sites have been established and are on standby at the Vernon Curling Club and the Civic Arena.

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Wildfire evacuees continue to flow into Vernon.

As of Tuesday morning, Emergency Social Services has registered 550 people from Williams Lake and other areas affected by provincial wildfires.

“At this time, all of the evacuees are being billeted by friends or family in the area,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, the city’s communications officer.

Two group lodging sites have been established at the Vernon Curling Club and Civic Arena for evacuees needing accommodation, with other sites being determined by the City.

“The city has been asked to prepare group lodging for up to 800 evacuees,” said Laing Gahr.

The ESS reception centre is located the Dogwood Gym in the Vernon Recreation Complex (3310 37th Ave.) and is operational from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Evacuees arriving after hours can call 250-309-0638.

Red Cross Services are onsite to register evacuees. Evacuees can also register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582. Other support services, including RCMP Victim Services, Salvation Army, St. John’s Ambulance and Service Canada, are on site.

Donations for evacuees are being accepted by the Salvation Army (3303 32nd Ave.). All donations, including clothing, food and monetary, should be dropped off to this location from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Specify that the donation is for fire relief when dropping off items to ensure they are directed toward evacuees.

Interested volunteers are asked to e-mail ESSvolunteer@vernon.ca with a completed volunteer form available on the homepage of the city’s website, or pick up a volunteer package at city hall.

“The city has received an overwhelming number of volunteer applications, so potential volunteers are thanked for their patience as these applications are processed,” said Laing Gahr.