UPDATED: 7:40 p.m.
The City of Vernon is preparing to receive a potential 800 evacuees from Williams Lake and other areas affected by wildfires.
A second group lodging site has been set up at the Civic Arena for single adults; up to 195 spaces are available at the Civic Arena. In addition, the Province has asked the City of Vernon to prepare for another 400 evacuees.
The ESS reception centre will be relocating to Dogwood Gym in the Vernon Recreation Centre, which they expect will happen by Monday.
The City and ESS do not have the capacity to receive donations of goods, gift cards or food. They thank the community for their desire to help incoming evacuees and ask for patience while they work to coordinate all of the necessary systems.
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.
Currently, the City and ESS are looking for volunteers, with experience.
Original: 2:31 p.m.
With Kamloops crammed with evacuees from the Cariboo, some have begun heading farther south to the Okanagan Valley, looking for a place to stay.
The town of Williams Lake was evacuated Saturday afternoon and a handful drove straight to Vernon where emergency lodging has been set up at the Vernon Curling Rink.
“We've registered just over 100 people,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, City of Vernon spokesperson. “The first wave arrived at 2:30 this morning.”
The city and Emergency Social Services (ESS) staff are asking residents not to head down with donations of goods, gift cards or food as there is nowhere to put them.
“We thank the community for their desire to help incoming evacuees and ask for patience while we work to coordinate 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.”
Vernon's Emergency Social Services is also in need of volunteers who have ESS or EM experience. Those willing to volunteer are asked to contact [email protected].
Until further notice, the ESS centre is operating 24 hours a day. With the curling rink parking lot under construction starting Monday, people needing to access the reception centre should park at the 35 Avenue entrance near Priest Valley Arena.