Hosting Wildfire Evacuees: Response Generated Demands in Kamloops, British Columbia
This presentation is based on a quick response project conducted in August 2017, during which time the principal investigators met with key public officials and professional representatives from the City of Kamloops, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Emergency Management British Colombia, and Kamloops area social service providers and community organizations. The temporary population influx of evacuees along with the convergence of both materiel and personnel created unique opportunities and unintended challenges for the community of 90,000. The response-generated demands placed on Kamloops in its capacity as a host-city during the 2017 wildfire season are presented from physical, economic and social perspectives, both in short and long term.
Mass movement of people temporarily fleeing danger is likely to become more commonplace, especially given that key indicators of fire behavior in the Canadian west suggest that upcoming fire seasons will be very active. Lessons drawn from the 2017 Kamloops experience are therefore useful for future response planning and implementation of emergency procedures on local, regional and provincial levels.