Prince George Remains Equipped for Fire Threat
Prince George, B.C. – Some aspects of the effort to provide a fully functional Evacuation Centre in Prince George are winding down now that the majority of the 10,000 Cariboo residents forced from their homes by fire this month have been permitted to return to their communities. However, the entire operation here is not being dismantled just yet.
Mayor Lyn Hall says he expects the cots which were set up at PGSS but never had to be utilized will be taken down soon. “We’ll probably get to it next week,” says Hall. “And we’re going to dismantle the cots and everything at CNC, the fellows may even have started that, and look at shipping those back. And we’re still retaining services at CNC.”
“Of course, we made the move of all of the remaining evacuees up to UNBC a couple of days ago but many of them have left. I would think that we have, maybe a hundred evacuees up there, but it fluctuates by the hour because they’ve been leaving quite consistently. And we have our busses lined up today to take those evacuees that don’t have transportation back to Williams Lake.”
Back to the cots for a moment, we asked Mayor Hall if they will be kept here in the event they might be needed again this summer or if they’ll be shipped back to Edmonton. “No, at this point we’re going to hang onto them. We have our warehouse down on River Road and I would think we would keep them for a while yet over the summer just in case. If we have an (evacuation) order somewhere and they use us as an evacuation centre we don’t have to worry about ordering cots.”
Cots in the UNBC Sport Centre gym have been utilized but the beds in the field house did not come into play during the evacuation response.
Hall says the pet evacuation centres at Peden Hill Elementary and the warehouse at Duchess Park “are still operating but we’re seeing a number of animals obviously picked up as people leave town. So those operations, too, will start to wind down as people pick up their pets.”
The mayor says local officials met to discuss things on Friday and once all of the evacuees have left the city “we’ll start to look at how we deal with our Emergency Operations Centre and that emergency operations team that’s in place. I think we’ll probably still continue to be at the ready and on standby.”
“We don’t want to dismantle it completely, we still want it in place and if anything comes at us again, we’re ready to get going right away.”