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Vernon helps 2,400 Okanagan/Shuswap wildfire evacuees

Public walking to resume at arena concourse, reception centre still operation

Thousands of wildfire victims have come to Vernon in seek of refuge and support.

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) remains operational as Vernon continues its response to wildfire activity throughout the Central Okanagan and Shuswap regions.

Since August 17, Vernon’s Emergency Support Services program has registered more than 2,400 evacuees, most of whom came from West Kelowna, Kelowna, Lake Country, and their surrounding areas.

The following are updates related to the Reception Centre:

The centre at Kal Tire Place Arena (3445 43rd Ave.) is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until further notice.

Public walking at the arena will resume Wednesday, Aug. 30. Residents are encouraged to check the Greater Vernon Recreation website ( for hours of availability, which will be posted when they become available.

Due to a reduced level of emergency response activity in Vernon, the call centre is closing; however, the Province of B.C. ESS information centre remains available if you have questions: 1-800-387-4258.

If you have Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA)-related questions, evacuees, responders and suppliers may call 1-844-537-7377.

If you are a supplier and have inquiries about outstanding invoices, you can contact the Province of B.C. at

Meanwhile the city is urging residents to do their part to FireSmart the community.

Many have participated this week and brought yard and garden waste to the temporary collection bins that have been placed around town.

“Over the weekend, the bins were well used and some of them filled up quickly,” said the city, which is working with contractors the bins emptied so they can continue to be used until Friday (Sept. 1).

Residents are reminded they can bring clippings, trimmings, leaves, garden waste, pine cones and shrubs to the temporary bins (free of charge), to be taken to the Greater Vernon Diversion and Disposal for yard compost recycling.

Do not place plastic bags in the bins, nor any building materials, drywall, cement, household garbage or recycling.

A map of the bin locations is available at

READ MORE: Mental health supports available to British Columbians affected by wildfires

READ MORE: West Kelowna school, Smith Creek allowed to return home


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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