Volunteers from Fort St. John are lending a hand with provincial wildfires

7/13/2017

The City of Fort St John is lending a hand to those affected by the wildfires.

 

The city received a request this week for volunteers to travel to Prince George, to help with registration of wildfire evacuees at their Emergency Operations Centre. One member of staff from Taylor, one from Fort St John, and three civilian volunteers from the city’s Emergency Social Services team are on their way to Prince George today, with three more staff from the Energetic City to follow on Sunday. Once they get there, their job will be to help Prince George evacuation centres track those forced out of their homes.

 

“There’s a limited amount of information about their specific roles," said Jim Rogers, Fort St. John's director of protective services. "They would be tasked, depending on what their training was, but probably doing registration inquiry, the very front end of dealing with people as they come into the reception centres, and getting the registry and starting to point them in the right direction of the various support services.”

 

The ESS is experienced with handling crisis situations, having run the evacuation centres in Taylor and Fort St. John during last year’s wildfire situation in the Peace Region. While this is the first time they are travelling outside the region, Rogers says he expects this won’t be the last.

 

“We’ve always assisted our neighbours where we could in these kinds of events," Rogers said. "We’ve had fires over the years at Wonowon, different places, and they come in, and you look at them and you see if you can apply the appropriate resources and help where you can, so the city has never been shy about doing that.”

 

While the crisis is not over, there is some hope for those affected, as the BC Wildfire Service has reported that as of this morning there were 183 fires burning province-wide, a drop from over 220 just a few days ago.