UPDATED: Vernon braces for 800 fire evacuees

Vernon ESS does not have the capacity to receive donations of goods, gift cards or food

  • Sun Jul 16th, 2017 2:58pm
  • News

UPDATED: British Columbians fleeing wildfires continue to flow into Vernon.

Vernon is preparing for a possible 800 evacuees from Williams Lake and other municipalities affected by wildfires.

“The Emergency Social Services reception centre and group lodging located at the Vernon Curling Rink was fully operational by 3 a.m. Sunday, and more than 100 evacuees had registered by 3 p.m.,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, city communications officer.

“The site is capable of hosting up to 239 people, primarily families, seniors and people with disabilities. There is also a pet enclosure for people travelling with animals.”

A second lodging site with 195 cots has been set up at Civic Arena for single adults.

“In addition, the province has asked the City of Vernon to prepare for another 400 evacuees,” said Laing Gahr.

The ESS reception centre will relocate to the Dogwood Gym, in the Vernon Recreation Complex, Monday.

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The City of Vernon has issued a call for assistance as evacuees from Williams Lake are provided accommodations.

“Vernon Emergency Social Services is requesting community members that have emergency sopcial services or emergency management experience and are willing to volunteer to contact ESSVolunteer@vernon.ca,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, communications officer.

Cots have been set up at the Vernon Curling Club and Civic Arena.

At this time, the city and ESS do not have the capacity to receive donations of goods, gift cards or food.

“We thank the community for their desire to help incoming evacuees and ask for patience while we work to co-ordinate all of the necessary systems,” said Laing Gahr.

“If you would like to donate to agencies that are helping to provide support to evacuees, we encourage you to donate to Salvation Army or Red Cross.”