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Offers of accommodation and supplies pour in for fire evacuees

Last Updated Jul 17, 2017 at 6:46 am PDT

A wildfire burns on a mountain in the distance behind a house that remains standing on the Ashcroft First Nation, near Ashcroft, B.C., late Sunday July 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – As thousands of British Columbians are forced from their homes by wildfires, hundreds of people are stepping up to offer whatever support they can.

A quick look at Facebook reveals people from Kamloops, Summerland, Chilliwack and Merritt are saying they have room for evacuees.

“I have two spare bedrooms” says one entry.

“I have space for an RV or trailer and a fenced yard for a dog” – says another.

Erica Van Vugt and her family in Maple Ridge describe what they’re offering.

“Well we would like to open up our home for another family to come and join us during their time of need. We have the space, we have extra room in our house and we would just like to be able to help somehow and make a difference in a family’s life,” she says.

Van Vugt says the evacuation is hitting close to home with a cousin from Williams Lake waiting out the fire situation in Prince George.

That Facebook page is called TNRD Donations and Lodging Group.

Kristi McLean posted that she has a tent trailer at her home near Kamloops, that would be perfect for a family.

McLean, who has an autistic son, said it would be a good environment for a family with an autistic child.

“Being in an evacuation centre, I know it wouldn’t be good for us, for sure,” she said in an interview. “Any family with special needs that need a place … we’re cool with it.”

There are numerous offers of accommodation, ranging from a room to full homes.

Many people have said they can provide shelter for pets.

“We have space available for evacuee horses, sheep, goats, chickens and a few dogs and/or cats,” one person said.

Supplies for the evacuees are also being offered.

“I have a 20-foot container almost full of non perishable food, Gatorade, baby supplies, toiletries, blankets and pillows,” a Chilliwack resident said.

There was even thought of evacuees who would be missing Sunday night’s premiere of the seventh season of “Game of Thrones.”

Kayla Charest posted on Facebook that she’d be willing to host seven or eight fans of the series who’ve been evacuated to Prince George.

“There’s not much I can do to help with accommodations but I can definitely house some people for a couple of hours for some entertainment — take their minds off things,” she said in an interview.