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Evacuated residents now going to Williams Lake

The Cariboo Regional District has confirmed that evacuated residents are now being sent to Williams Lake.

Stephanie Masun is the CRD Manager of Emergency Programs.

“What that means is that in the area of 100 Mile House there may not be any more rental units.  A secondary site had opened up in Williams Lake that’s located at the volunteer fire department on Hodson Road, as a secondary site for people tom come for assistance with lodging.”

Masun says some people are going elsewhere.

“Sometimes with ESS people register but they have plans to go elsewhere.  They have friends and family that they’d rather go stay with than commercial lodging.  There are more sites in Williams Lake though than 100 Mile House, but I don’t know the number of rooms because it changes daily.”

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As for where future evacuees will go, she says it depends.

“What happens when there is an order or alert the next appropriate place to be directed will also be included in the order information.  So the safest next appropriate place for those evacuees to be directed will be included in the order.  It’s best not to direct people in advance because that information may not be correct at the time.”

Almost 700 properties have been evacuated due to the wildfire near Deka Lake, 679 from the community of Deka Lake and 14 from Judson Road.

Masun says she considers it one community in the Interlakes area as the order was just extended due to access and egress.

There is also an evacuation alert for 153 properties at Sulphurous Lake, which is adjacent to that.

Masun says it is a good idea to have a go bag ready.

“Your go bag is supplies for yourself and your family and your pets, for at least 72 hours.  That means three days worth of water and food and supplies.  Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray.   And also take into consideration any medical needs, prescriptions, or any other special needs that they may have, and also have a plan with friends and family.  Sometimes people are traveling when they are leaving an area and they don’t check in with their family.”

Masun says it is also important to make sure you have your valuables ready to go.

“Some things aren’t replaceable and they do have sentimental value to us. If you have the space and you have the opportunity, please do start organizing those things now, as well as take a look at your home insurance information and other important documents.  Take a picture with your cell phone, and take your documents with you if you can.”

She says it is also important to know how to contact your broker or your insurance company, and she says sometimes people’s insurance also covers evacuation order durations.

Masun says it is also good if people know that in advance.

Chris Keam, Communications Supervisor with the CRD, encourages people to sign up for the emergency notification system.

“It’s such an effective way for us to reach out to people, both to issue the alerts and the orders and also to let people know when those alerts or orders are upgraded, downgraded, whatever happens.  So we really encourage people, if they haven’t already, to go to our website.  There is an emergency notification system big button right on the front of the page there. Sign up, give us the contact info so that we can reach out to people.”

Keam says more than 700 people have signed up in the past day.

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