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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
July 15, 2017
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Emergency Management BC
Important information about aid for wildfire evacuees

VICTORIA – With many people being displaced due to wildfires in British Columbia, there are two main methods of obtaining aid.

Evacuated residents are eligible for one or both of the following services, depending on their individual situation.

Evacuees are reminded to register, if they have not already done so:

  • With the Canadian Red Cross, even if you do not immediately require aid.
  • And at emergency social services reception centres, only if you require immediate aid with lodging, food or clothing.

Canadian Red Cross:

  • The Government of British Columbia is providing $100 million in funding for the Canadian Red Cross to provide direct assistance to evacuees and communities impacted by wildfires.
  • The Province is urging all evacuees to register with the Canadian Red Cross, even those who do not require immediate aid.
  • Registering allows the Red Cross to contact evacuees directly as more information and assistance becomes available, which can help reunite families and loved ones.
  • On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, the Canadian Red Cross began transfers of at least $600 per household to registered evacuees whose information has been validated with the provincial authorities.
  • The funds will first be delivered to households that have been ordered to evacuate, as they currently face the highest level of need.
  • After the Red Cross validates the information, they will transfer the funds to recipients through secure electronic bank transfers. The validation and transfer process will take up to a week to process.
  • To register, please contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1 800 863-6582 or online at:

Emergency Social Services:

  • Emergency Social Services (ESS) are available to those directly affected by the fires; there is an identifying process to ensure legitimate need and each applicant is assessed on a case-by-case basis by hardworking volunteers.
  • Evacuees are asked to also register with their local emergency reception centre only if immediate assistance is needed with accommodations, food, or incidentals.
  • Depending on the individual circumstance, services such as first aid, child minding, pet care and transportation may also be available.
  • In regular circumstances, those who have self-evacuated do not normally receive Emergency Social Services.
  • Due to the scope and scale of this current wildfire event, self-evacuated persons who are in the evacuation order, alert or who are immediately adjacent to the wildfires, or are adversely affected by smoke due to health conditions, will be eligible to receive Emergency Social Services.
  • Evacuees who have migrated to a community without a reception centre should contact an ESS reception centre in the area from which they originated, and ask for instruction on how best to receive services.
  • A list of evacuation centre locations is maintained at:
    (Click on "What to do if evacuated")
  • If you require more information, please dial 1 800 585-9559, or visit:

Learn More:

Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation:

Information on evacuation orders and alerts:

Follow us on Twitter: @EmergencyInfoBC, @PreparedBC, and @DriveBC

Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

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