Secretary-treasurer Larry Paul

UPDATED: School district ready to lend a hand

Kelowna - The school district will offer schools for evacuees if Williams Lake is evacuated

UPDATED : July 13, 4:42

KLO Middle School has been set up with cots as of last night.

Volunteers are manning the site 24/7 according to superintendent Kevin Kaardal.

So far, three evacuees have registered at the site.

ORIGINAL: July 12

If the order is given for an evacuation of Williams Lake due to wildfire, the Central Okanagan School District will be ready to provide facilities for evacuees.

The school district has partnered with the Emergency Operations Centre and is ready to set up reception centres and provide temporary housing at KLO Middle School, Rutland Senior Secondary and Okanagan Mission Secondary, said district secretary-treasurer Larry Paul.

“There’s some indication that if Williams Lake is evacuated there will be a significant number of people directed this way,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the district has offered its resources to wildfire evacuees.

In the 2003 Kelowna blaze, Kelowna Secondary School was used as a reception centre.

“This may be a situation where the people are processed somewhere else and may have to be housed in the school until people can figure out where to go,” said Paul.

The district has never temporarily housed evacuees before and it doesn’t know how many people the schools can house, said Paul, as the emergency centre would be providing resources like food and water and setting up cots.

The three schools were chosen as they have shower facilities so people can “freshen up,” said Paul.

The size of the schools make it easy for people to access resources as they have large amounts of space and parking which is why the district offers its facilities, he said.