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New evacuee accommodations will provide culturally safe support

Press Release

Aug. 10, 2023

KAMLOOPS – To ensure the safety of people in the event of an evacuation and the delivery of culturally safe supports for evacuees, the Province is partnering with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to establish evacuee accommodations for up to 300 people.

This proactive measure will provide essential support and relief to people who need to evacuate from their homes on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc land due to wildfires. The temporary accommodation, located in the Rayleigh neighbourhood of Kamloops, is expected to be operational by Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. It will be managed by the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, with cultural and traditional support provided by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, including a cultural activity space to support smudging and prayer.

“Evacuating from your home is difficult and stressful. The last thing evacuees should have to worry about is whether they will have a safe place to stay,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “That’s why we’re partnering with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to boost our accommodations capacity for evacuees and deliver culturally safe supports to Indigenous Peoples at this site. By working together, we’re ensuring that people have a place to retreat in the unfortunate event that they need to evacuate.”

The Province has been closely working with First Nations and local authorities to prepare for evacuations in several areas. Recognizing that B.C. is in peak tourism season, where hotel room availability is limited, this accommodation will serve as a supplementary resource, bolstering the region’s existing capacity to house evacuees.

“In the face of the ever-growing threat of wildfires, our community members recognize the significance of being proactive and ready to face any challenge that may arise,” said Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. “This partnership is a testament to our determination to lend a helping hand to the people who need it the most. This evacuee site will also provide essential culturally safe support to Indigenous Peoples who have been forced from their home communities.”

The Province continues to assess capacity for group lodging to ensure adequate and efficient support for evacuees and responders is available.

To prepare for an evacuation, the Province urges everyone in B.C. to put together an emergency plan and grab-and-go bag.

Some First Nations and local authorities also offer online registration for Emergency Support Services. People are encouraged to pre-register. To sign-up for Evacuee Registration and Assistance, visit:

When an evacuation order is issued, your First Nation or local authority will provide instruction about whether you can apply online or in-person at a designated evacuee reception centre.

Emergency Support Services are available to people who are evacuated from their home and require assistance, such as costs associated with accommodation, food, transportation and incidentals.

People are encouraged to follow all guidance, evacuation orders and alerts from their First Nation or local authority.

Learn More:

For tips on how to prepare grab-and-go bags, visit:

For information on evacuation alerts and orders, visit:

To learn about how to prepare for wildfires, visit:

To pre-register with ESS, visit:

Real-time wildfire information can be found on the BC Wildfire Service mobile app, or website:


Krystal Thomson
Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness
Media Relations
250 888-0263


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