Given the change in the White Rock Lake fire status, the Vernon ESS Reception Centre will be closing on Thursday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m.
Over the last six weeks, nearly 3,000 evacuees registered for assistance at the Vernon centre. Additionally, several thousand requests for service were processed by a dedicated team of volunteers.
“The city would like to thank every volunteer, staff member, local service provider and community organization that helped make the reception centre operation possible and provided caring and compassionate service for those who have faced incredibly difficult circumstances,” said the city in a Sept. 7 release.
On Aug. 1, the reception centre opened to receive and assist evacuees from neighbouring communities who were displaced due to the wildfire.
A month later, on Sept. 2, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) listed the White Rock Lake fire as being held. Fire suppression efforts continue and crews are patrolling the fire area, extinguishing hot spots. BCWS says smoke will be visible within the fire perimeter for several weeks; however, at this time there is no threat of further spread.
Some evacuation orders remain in place for neighbouring communities, however, the number of evacuees seeking assistance from the Vernon reception centre has decreased significantly.
Residents are asked to contact their respective municipal, regional district or First Nation’s office if they need further ESS assistance, or if they have questions related to the status of evacuation orders or alerts, re-entry plans or community recovery efforts.