After receiving north of 2,000 evacuees and nearly 200 pets from the Northwest Territories over the last week, the Grande Prairie reception centre for evacuees will be moving closer to downtown.
The first stop for those entering Grande Prairie will now be at the Montrose Cultural Centre, moving from the Alliance Church, which has been running since August 13th. GPREP says the city remains at capacity for hotel accommodations for evacuees and cannot accept newly arriving evacuees who require a place to stay. However, all evacuees can continue to access information at the Reception Centre.
As of Friday, 2,157 evacuees and approximately 239 pets from the Northwest Territories have arrived in the city since August 13th, with 761 hotel rooms being allotted for 1,273 evacuees at 26 different hotels and four campgrounds.
Incident Commander Darryl Martin says the organization wants to thank not only businesses and community partners, but residents across the region who have opened their hearts, and in some cases, their doors, for those fleeing the fires.
“The situation is constantly evolving and we appreciate everybody’s flexibility and helpfulness while GPREP responds to evacuee needs,” he adds.
Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton echoes those sentiments.
“The City would like to sincerely thank the numerous community partners that have provided support to evacuees during their time in Grande Prairie. Businesses and residents in our region have also generously stepped up and shown our inclusive and caring community spirit through donations and opening their homes to our northern neighbours,” she adds.
For those already signed up for accommodations, GPREP says they are actively extending all rooms prior to check-out dates, and notifications will be handed out of any changes are made to that schedule.