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$3.9M in vouchers issued to White Rock Lake wildfire evacuees in Vernon

Emergency Support Service centre operated for 40 days to support those displaced by wildfires
Smoke is visible from Desert Cove (Aug. 24) from a small-scale planned ignition by BC Wildfire Services wildland firefighters battling the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Terry Lawson - Facebook)

The reception centre for wildfire evacuees in Vernon supplied nearly 3,000 evacuees in 40 days with emergency support services (ESS) to the tune of nearly $4 million.

The centre, which opened on Aug. 2 in response to the White Rock Lake wildfire, served those displaced from surrounding jurisdictions and from as far away as the Village of Lytton and Logan Lake.

The fire, which sparked July 13, burned more than 83,000 hectares between Vernon and Kamloops and down along Westside Road towards Fintry. Thousands were put on evacuation order or alert from, at its peak, nine governing jurisdictions in the 66 days the fire burned out of control.

In Vernon, ESS volunteers allocated 9,988 local hotel or motel rooms and issued 8,797 service vouchers so evacuees could access meals, groceries, clothing, gas and other needs.

The provincially funded referrals issued by the local ESS centre are valued at $3.9 million.

More than 150 City of Vernon ESS volunteers ran the centre out of the Dogwood Gymnasium at the Greater Vernon Recreation Centre, while volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross, SPCA, Salvation Army and other non-government organizations also provided assistance.

READ MORE: Vernon reception centre shutting down as White Rock Lake fire under control

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire damages an estimated $77M: Insurance Bureau of Canada


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