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HomeNews100 Mile HouseCity of Prince George welcoming wildfire evacuees with open arms

City of Prince George welcoming wildfire evacuees with open arms

(Files by Dione Wearmouth – My Prince George Now)

With wildfires blazing across the province and an evacuation alert issued for 100 Mile House, Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall says the Northern Capital is ready to take in evacuees if necessary.

According to Hall, around 60 evacuees from the Yekooche Lake area fled to PG in the last 10-12 hours.

“We’ve been prepared since 2017 when we had 10,000 evacuees here and our emergency operations centre has mobilized we’re at level one right now and prepared to move at a moment’s notice. We’re ready to go. We’re ready to welcome evacuees if need be,” he said.

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Hall will be reaching out to the 100-Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel Mayors today (Wednesday) to get specific information on the status of their respective communities and the status of their emergency operations centres.

This comes after he contacted the Mayor of Kamloops to gather similar information and offer supports just a few days ago.

“One of the other things we enact as well once we get to a higher level if we get past level one as we see more evacuees come into town is a registration centre will be established and in 2017 the registration centre was at the College of New Caledonia, so those are the kind of things we put into place if we have to move to level two or three,” explained Hall.

He adds that if we get to the point of enacting level two or three, the city will provide similar resources to evacuees that were in place back in 2017.

However, he adds that the city has fine-tuned the emergency response level since 2017, and the system would be a little more streamlined than before.

Initially, the City will be looking into housing evacuees at hotels and motels, then base further housing decisions off of how the situation progresses.

“When we receive evacuees and certainly to the number we received in 2017 we always reached out to volunteer organizations, residents stepped up in numerous ways and I think from an evacuation perspective we really have been sending the message out year-after-year in the summer to be prepared,” he added.

Hall says the community welcomed evacuees with open arms in 2017, and he wants residents to react the same way if the community does end up taking in residents from other communities.

“We’re (BC) well in excess of 300 fires, 90 plus of those fires are out of control so we’re lending our support to any municipality that requires it and I think it’s important for us to do that because we want to keep track of the fires close to Prince George.”

Currently, there are 61 wildfires blazing within the Prince George Fire Centre, 7 of which are considered ‘of note’ by the BC Wildfire Service.

The Mount PorterBlack Pine, Klawli Lake, and Forres Mountain, which are all west and south of PG are still considered out of control.

The BC Wildfire Service reminds residents to report wildfires or irresponsible behaviour that could ignite a wildfire to the Wildfire reporting line.

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