Ken Heuser was evacuated from his home on Highway 5A Friday night. He visited the Princeton Evacuation Centre early Sunday morning with his grandsons Owen and Benjamin Kaiser.

‘I’m glad to be a Canadian today’

60 families evacuated Friday have registered at the reception centre

A fire evacuation centre at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning resembles nothing more than a mid-priced hotel lobby, maybe slightly less organized.

There is someone in a uniform at the reception desk, and tables of fruit, muffins, coffee and water – a continental breakfast.

In Princeton B.C. it is also very quiet, with only a handful of volunteers, some local politicians and the occasional evacuee wandering in to grab a banana and ask for information.

The last update, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, put the Princeton fire at 1,500 hectares.

Ken Heuser, who evacuated from his home on Highway 5A with his wife Friday evening, was at the centre Sunday morning with his grandsons. His family is staying with Heuser’s daughter who lives in Princeton.

“We go out every day to Bedford Road to take a look and see where the clouds are.”

Heuser said they had several hours Friday to pack valuables like pictures and keepsakes into two vehicles, and drive safely to town.

The couple had not previously prepared an evacuation bag or checklist.

“No we talked about it, but we never did quite do it.”

Heuser said he has been overwhelmed by the kindness and assistance evacuees have received over the weekend.

“People in this community have come together. It’s a blessing to live here…I’m glad to be a Canadian today, that’s for sure.”

Nearly all of the residents of 60 families evacuated Friday have registered at the centre, located at Riverside, and all had family or motel accommodations last night according to Eric Gregson, Emergency Social Services volunteer and former Princeton fire chief.

One hundred and ten cots are being set up at the Princeton arena as a back up plan, he said.

“The arena has been designated as our group lodging centre. It is not open to the public. It is part of our plan to have that facility as required.”

Another 428 homes in the Missezula Lake, Erris and Jura areas remain on evacuation alert.

Gregson said the evacuation centre does not require more donations at this time, while people wanting to help are being asked to call the centre at 250-293-6672 so their names can be put on a list for donations or volunteer expertise in the coming days.

Just Posted

Restorative Justice helps communities heal

This week is Restorative Justice Week. Several workshops are planned throughout the region.

Visiting Vees pound West Kelowna Warriors

The Vees got hat tricks from two players en route to an 11-3 win

Food hamper program in need of more donations

More than 125 hampers are given out to residents of the Lower Similkameen before Christmas.

Alleged affair leads to assault in Princeton

Remorse and a clean record result in suspended sentence

Pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

B.C. sports groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Charles Manson, leader of murderous ’60s cult, dead at 83

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

Most Read