The evacuee count is growing in Vernon.
The Emergency Support Services reception centre at Kal Tire Place has welcomed and registered more than 1,000 evacuees since Aug. 17.
Most have come from West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Westside Road, Kelowna and Lake Country. Some evacuees have also come from the Shuswap area, near the Adams Lake fire.
The City of Vernon’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) remains activated at a level 3, while also monitoring the fire situation in the Central Okanagan and Shuswap regions. The city has remained in close contact with neighbouring communities, BC Wildfire Service and the Province of B.C.
“In addition to monitoring fire activities, the city has been diligent to review its own emergency response plans and staff are ready to act if something happens locally,” said Vernon fire chief David Lind.
“Over the last several weeks, VFRS has provided both personnel and apparatus to help with firefighting efforts in the southern and central regions of the Okanagan.
“Although we’ve been sending resources outside the community to help neighbours, we want to reassure residents in Vernon that if we have an emergency event happen here, we are resourced and ready to respond immediately.”
Most regional departments have crews deployed elsewhere, including a team of three Coldstream firefighters in Lake Country.
BX-Swan Lake crews are also assisting in West Kelowna and Adams Lake. Chief Bill Wacey is in Sparwood.
But Capt. Scott Lypchuk said teams are prepared for local emergencies.