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Lower Mainland reception centres welcome evacuees

Last Updated Jul 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm PDT

The Cloverdale reception centre. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130, Photo)

CLOVERDALE (NEWS 1130) – With thousands forced from their homes in the Interior and Cariboo areas because of wildfires, reception centres are opening on the Lower Mainland.

People have been trickling in to a wildfire reception centre at the Cloverdale Arena in Surrey, most not knowing what has happened to the homes they’ve left behind.

James and his family only had about 30 hours of alert time before they had to pack up their 100 Mile House home and leave. Now, days after having left, they’re still trying to process everything going on, but are forever grateful for those providing their time and support.

Mike was also forced to leave his home and belongings behind in 100 Mile House days ago. He’s helping a friend who was forced out of Williams Lake.

“I just hope for the whole community that nothing bad really happens, it’s a sad thing.”

He hasn”t had any word on whether his property is still standing, but he’s hoping for the best.

“I hope my family stay above everything, but it’s difficult yeah.”

Caitlyn and her girlfriend Katie drove to Surrey from the Green Lake area, where they were staying after being forced to leave their home in 100 Mile House.

“Exhausted, tired, worried about home. But knowing we’re safe and our animals are safe, it’s the best thing,” said Caitlyn, who adds the family’s farm animals are being taken care of by others who own a ranch away from danger.

Katie says she hasn’t been able to really feel anything, except for worry, once she heard about Williams Lake.

The wildfire reception in Cloverdale is open 7am til 9pm.

An evacuation centre has also been set up in the Fraser Valley. Chilliwack Secondary School now has room for 124 evacuees to sleep.

Computers have been set up at the school to help people register with the Red Cross.

To offering up lodging and accommodation, head to Facebook.