Debbie Lyon

Princeton evacuees have a place to sleep

As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday there were 428 area homes on evacuation alert

All of the residents evacuated from 60 properties on Highway 5A have lodging for the night, according to Lyle Thomas, information officer for the Town of Princeton.

At the same time, the evacuation centre located at Riverside is asking for first-aiders to volunteer, and cots are being moved into the Princeton arena in case more people are forced to flee their homes.

As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday there were 428 area homes on evacuation alert.

The evacuation centre is being operated 24 hours a day, said Thomas, “at least for the first while, while people get settled. If the fire makes an adjustment, we will adjust accordingly.”

Thomas said first aiders are required should anyone suffer minor injuries or distress during evacuation.

“We are not taking over from the hospital, that is for sure…We have a first aid station, not for major injuries, but anyone who needs minor attention we can address that right here on site. We do need volunteer, qualified first aiders.”

Yesterday Emergency Social Service volunteers expressed concern that local motels would not be able to accommodate evacuees over the weekend, but Thomas said “due to circumstances a number of motels have phoned us…All I know is the motels now seem to be able to fit all the people.”

A steady of stream of donations – everything from bottled water to food and toothbrushes – has sustained the evacuation centre over the past 24 hours, said Thomas.

“We’ve had a lot of people drop off stuff already and we are very appreciative of that. Water seems to be the biggest need, bottled water, and toiletries, just the basic needs. At this point we seem to be able to keep up. As our need grows we will definitely put out a call for other items.”

For a gallery of reader photos on the fire click here. For information on the Smoky Skies Advisory issued for the Cariboo, Thompson, Shuswap, Okanagan, Similkameen, Fraser Canyon and Nicola region click here.