City Prepares for Evacuees

The City of Vernon is preparing to receive a potential 800 evacuees from Williams Lake and other municipalities affected by wildfires. The Emergency Social Services (ESS) reception centre and group lodging located at the Vernon Curling Rink was fully operational by 3 a.m. Sunday morning, and more than 100 evacuees had registered by 3 p.m. 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 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, anticipated to take place Monday.

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 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.  The City says all support for evacuees is being funded by the Province of B.C.

The City is asking for volunteers with ESS or emergency management experience, and those who have had recent Police Information and Vulnerable Sector checks, to contact our volunteer coordinator at ESSvolunteer@vernon.ca.