On Sunday (August 20), the provincial government announced in a press release the assistance to those who have been evacuated across British Columbia due to the wildfires through Emergency Support Services (ESS).

According to the news release, evacuees who require support services such as accommodation, food, clothing and other supplies, should follow directions provided by their local authority or First Nation on how to register for ESS. 

In order to access those services, people need to register for Emergency Support Services (ESS) at their website. The Province also encourages people to pre-register online, if possible, as it may speed up the process in case people need their services.

In the news release, the B.C. government also encourages evacuees to stay with family and friends if they are able to, so that accommodation is available for those who don’t have other options.

The B.C. government also reminded that support services in Alberta are extremely limited, as the province is welcoming evacuees from the Northwest Territories. Those who don’t have families and friends to stay with in Alberta are discouraged to evacuate to the province.

The City of Merritt announced in a press release on Saturday (August 19) that those who have been evacuated due to the wildfires and are staying in Merritt with friends or family, may be eligible to receive incidental ESS. 

Also according to the release, the city reminded that the capacity is limited, and reminded evacuees to “only come to Merritt at this time if you are directed to do so by an ESS centre, or if you have arranged to stay with friends and family.”

The Merritt Civic Centre, located at 1950 Mamette Ave., is serving as an emergency centre. Those in Merritt needing support should call the ESS on call line at 778-921-0189.

The city also reminded that they aren’t accepting any donations at this time and recommended those who would like to help evacuees should donate to organizations such as Red Cross, United Way or a food bank in the affected area.

For more information visit the B.C. government website or the City of Merritt website.