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UPDATE: Chilliwack opens evacuation centre amid Lytton wildfire, community members offer help

Donations being accepted Thursday at 2. p.m. at Cottonwood Mall, others offering accommodation
Chilliwack centre for evacuees from large Lytton wildfire on July 1, 2021. (Jessica Peters/The Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack has activated an emergency centre at Chilliwack secondary school for those escaping the Lytton wildfire, while community members step up to offer accommodation and other support.

Dozens have offered rooms in their homes and space for RVs through a BC Wildfire and Flood Support Facebook group, which was started during the historic 2017 wildfire season.

Numerous people on the group were offering help to provide shelter for people and animals in Merritt, Hope and all the way to Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley.

READ MORE: Fleeing flames in Lytton while desperately trying to connect with loved ones

READ MORE: THE LATEST: 90% of Lytton destroyed in wildfire, injuries reported

A number of specific posts were regarding help offered in Chilliwack:

• Some local people were packing two semi-trailers with supplies to deliver to those in need in Lytton. Donations were being accepted at the Sears parking lot in Cottonwood Mall at 2 p.m. on July 1.

Among the items needed and being asked for: Socks, towels, fresh fruit and vegetables, children’s activities, brushes, toiletries. No clothing is needed.

• A post was made that anyone from Lytton who needs a place to stay can go to the Shxwha:y longhouse at 44962 Skway Rd. They have mattresses, washrooms, a shower, kitchen, non-perishable food and laundry.

• The Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven is able to help with pet supplies. Call 604-794-7233 or message the Facebook page.

Highway 1 near Hope is closed heading towards Yale and Boston Bar due to the ongoing wildfires.

ALSO READ: 78 wildfires burning in the province. Here’s what we know

More to come.

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