At this point there are no plans to open up Chilliwack Heritage Park to wildfire evacuees or livestock. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Heritage Park can’t be opened to evacuees or livestock in Chilliwack

Chilliwack would have to be formally asked to provide assistance from emergency reps and haven’t been

Callers were lighting up the phone lines this week at Chilliwack Tourism and Chilliwack Fire Department about the prospect of opening up Heritage Park to people and their livestock coming down from fire-ravaged areas.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen at this point.

“Our Fire Department is closely monitoring the wildfire situation and has been in contact with Emergency Management BC (EMBC), which is coordinating requests for support from local governments,” said Jamie Leggatt, communications manager for City of Chilliwack. “At this time, evacuees are being sent north from the wildfires as EMBC has determined that to be the safest route of travel out of the affected areas.

“As such, the City has not yet been asked to provide any assistance. However, we are prepared to support in any available capacity.”

City-owned facilities like Heritage Park have to adhere to Emergency Services protocol, and therefore would have to receive a formal request for assistance by EMBC.

West Coast Classic, a large horse reining event, is booked this weekend at Heritage Park. Many of the participants are from wildfire-affected areas and will be bringing extra horses with them to house in Heritage Park to help protect them from the fires.

For more details contact Chris Wilson, assistant fire chief and emergency program coordinator at 604.792.8713 or wilson@chilliwack.com.