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Evacuation center set up in Penticton, British Columbia wildfires displaced – Okanagan

As of Friday afternoon, more than 1,600 properties have been evacuated or ordered to evacuate due to wildfires on Keremeos Creek, 20 kilometers from Penticton.

The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District established an emergency assistance services reception center at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Penticton. He had over 300 registrations in need of assistance.

“This can range from accommodation, food assistance, mental health and family reunification assistance, to providing information about fires and incidents and passing it on to evacuees,” says Adam Goodwin of ESS. explains Mr. coordinator.

Goodwin added that communities in Penticton and the surrounding area have done more than that for those who have been forced to flee their homes.

“We have had members of the public donate various gift cards that can be distributed to evacuees and local businesses that are partners of our emergency assistance services. ,” said Goodwin.

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A woman and her 11-year-old son are spending their first summer in the Okanagan after moving from Saskatchewan last year. The two left their home at Apex Mountain Resort after the fire continued to approach the village.

“We love that mountain. We just know that driving it, hiking along trails, and driving on green trails will never be the same,” says Sarah Patten. explained.

“It will never be the same as before, and that’s heartbreaking.”

Patten says he’s just grateful to have a roof over their heads during all the uncertainty.

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“It’s great to be in a community small enough to care about your neighbors,” Patten explained.

“This is my home and I am very proud to call it that. We are lucky to be safe.”

Another evacuee who was at the center on Friday said animals were her number one priority when she started packing home so they could be safe in shelters and with friends. They say the uncertainty of not knowing what they will see when they are allowed back is devastating.

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“They burned their backs on our mountain and it was intense. It was right behind our house and we could see and hear the candles in the trees,” said Lois Weger. rice field.

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“At that time, I really felt that I might not have a home.

The Penticton Reception Center is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, and ESS expects to remain open for at least a few hours on Saturday to support those who may still be displaced. I’m here.

If you are on evacuation alert, we encourage you to register online at ess.gov.bc.ca. If you are under an evacuation order, you can register for support at the Penticton Reception Center at 120 Green Avenue West.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



Evacuation center set up in Penticton, British Columbia wildfires displaced – Okanagan

Source link Evacuation center set up in Penticton, British Columbia wildfires displaced – Okanagan

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