Chilliwack prepares to take in wildfire evacuees. (Jess Peters/Chilliwack Progress)

Lower Mainland prepares for 13,000 wildfire evacuees

Surrey and Chilliwack have already begun preparations

The Lower Mainland is preparing to take in nearly 13,000 wildfire evacuees from interior B.C., according to Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Williams Lake was evacuated Saturday afternoon, with evacuees being directed to Little Fort where they will be told further directions of where to proceed. Surrey activated emergency social services Saturday, opening an evacuation centre in Cloverdale.

WATCH: Hwy. 97 goes from empty to busy as evacuees flee Williams Lake

RELATED: Williams Lake, 150 Mile House under evacuation

Some evacuees will be headed to Chilliwack Secondary, Gaetz said.

We are expecting evacuees from Williams Lake to travel to Kamloops tonight with the overflow making their way down here,” said Gaetz. “Some evacuees will travel to the larger group lodging facility in Cloverdale.”

VIDEO: Young parents’ dream turns to nightmare in wildfire

Emergency Management BC is organizing additional lodging in neighbouring cities. The newest wave of evacuees is expected to begin arriving late Saturday or early Sunday, although many have begun to trickle down to the Lower Mainland already.

It’s not just people who are being evacuated. The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team is helping out in Cloverdale and a map of those able to take in or haul livestock has been created here:

Just Posted

Morning Jan. 15: slippery conditions with fog on area Highways

The roads and weather for the South Cariboo

South Cariboo photo contest; $100 Chamber Bucks prize

Help us get photos for our tourism publications

Joel Patsey of the Wranglers is rearing for chance in Top Prospects Game

“I’ve been working all season to get this opportunity,” said Patsey. “I’m happy that it happened.”

Crafter’s Market opens in downtown 100 Mile House

Indoor, year-round spaces available for locally-made products

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Most Read