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Prince George preparing for more wildfire evacuees

The City of Prince George staff are preparing for the possibility of more wildfire evacuees following the Emergency Reception Centre opening late last week. As of Monday afternoon 125 evacuees have registered.

There are currently more than 1,000 northern BC households on evacuation alert spanning dozens of alert areas that could be sent to Prince George if the Alert becomes an Evacuation Order. Emergency Support Services in the west have reached capacity, so evacuees from these communities are being directed to Prince George.

There is no active fire threat for Prince George, however, there are currently 377 wildfires currently burning in BC.

The city and the Ministry of Transportation are increasing the amount of signage in the city along highways and routes to direct people to the Emergency Reception Centre, and staff are preparing for increased evacuee numbers as part of the response.

This is the city’s fourth activation for wildfire evacuee response since May, and the province has asked the city to be prepared to remain activated until September.

“Our current wildfire season is not going anywhere,” Director of Public Safety, Adam Davey, said.

“The province has asked us to prepare to remain activated for the next few months, therefore, we have built a sustainment model that will allow us to concurrently manage daily city operations while responding to potential evacuee ‘surge’ times,”

The Province of B.C. has coordinated with the Red Cross to operate a group lodging should one become necessary. The BC SPCA is also preparing to operate a facility for pet care at Duchess Park.

The Emergency Reception Centre does not need volunteers or donations at this time. Those wishing to volunteer should contact the Red Cross.

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