Centre set up for Summerland wildfire evacuees

Summerland Emergency Support Services has processed 55 people from 16 households

An evacuation centre for those displaced by the wildfires has been set up at the Summerland Curling Club.

By Thursday evening, around 55 people from 16 households had been registered at the centre, said John Topham, director of Summerland Emergency Support Services.

Homes on Garnet Valley Road from Wildhorse Road north are under an evacuation order, while homes on Garnet Valley Road from Jones Flat Road to Wildhorse Road are on an evacuation alert.

Once registered, some of the evacuees make arrangements to stay with friends or relatives, while others are housed in local hotels or motels, with meals provided for the next 72 hours.

If the evacuation continues for longer than 72 hours, Emergency Support Services volunteers contact the province to ask for an extension. The evacuees then must re-register to receive assistance.

Topham said he and Summerland Fire Chief Glenn Noble met earlier to prepare for the evacuations.

“Everybody was ready before it happened,” Topham said.

This is the second time this year Summerland Emergency Support Services had to set up to assist evacuees.

In spring, after a mudslide in the Garnet Valley area, five people from one household were evacuated.

Last year, floods and fires resulted in 165 people processed by the evacuation centre.

“We had a lot of evacuations and we were extremely busy during the severity of the fires,” he said.

Anyone with questions about the evacuation order or evacuation alert is asked to call the District of Summerland Wildfire Emergency Line at 250-486-3765.

There are 14 volunteers with Summerland Emergency Support Services.

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