The Canim Lake Band Emergency Operations Centre issued a voluntary evacuation notice earlier this July 14th) morning for vulnerable members in the community.
The EOC decision to voluntary evacuate was prompted by fire activity overnight, which is impacting transportation routes throughout the region.
Chief Helen Henderson said this is a precautionary step to ensure the safety and well-being of their beloved elders and vulnerable populations.
Henderson added some elders have opted to stay in the community, which is totally up to them, and that there will still be supports set up for them.
For those who chose to leave Chief Henderson had this to say.
“Our first choice of arrangements for our elders is the Fraser Valley, so we are in contact with their reception centre in Seabird where they’re preparing to receive up to 42 members.”
Out-of-community band members are already in place to provide a familiar welcoming face in the hosting community
Henderson noted that their voluntary evacuation order was executed successfully with little to no hiccups.
They met at 5 this morning as an EOC (Emergency Operation Centre) to run through the plan, the team had feet on the ground by 7 going door to door to their Elders, then met at the primary cluster zone where they checked in.
Prior to their departure, Henderson said the Elders sang a travelling song and prayer song for their safety.
“The focus is on ensuring that our Elders have clean air space because of the smoke that’s coming into the community and our access roads are limited as well so its best to ensure that our Elders have access to Doctors, clinics, and hospitals, and for their own peace of mind and ours to have them in an area where they can be well looked after,” Henderson said.