You are all honourary Kamloops residents.
That was the message Kamloops acting mayor Arjun Singh had to deliver to Cariboo Regional District evacuees Monday evening during a public information session held at the Sagebrush Theatre in the Tournament Capital.
“It’s a tough situation,” Singh told the Tribune Tuesday afternoon. “But whatever we’re going through it’s nothing compared to you guys.”
Singh said he couldn’t be more proud of the way both CRD residents and the City of Kamloops have handled the situation, as thousands of evacuees have been registered in Kamloops due to the threat of wildfires encroaching on cities and rural communities in the Cariboo.
“I’m really proud to be representing the folks in Kamloops,” he said. “I always am, but this has been something else. We’ve had piles of donations pouring in.
“I know if the shoe was on the other foot it would be the same.”
Singh said between 3,000 and 7,000 evacuees have registered in Kamloops since orders were issued.
Asked whether the city still has enough resources to house the growing amount of evacuees pouring in, Singh said the community is still holding strong, and had nothing but kind words to say about the way visitors to Kamloops have treated the hundreds of volunteers helping out at the Sandman Centre downtown where the evacuation centre is located.
“All the evacuees have been friendly and it’s been a real team effort,” he said.
“It’s just the beginning of the fire season so we need to make sure people aren’t getting burned out, but people are putting in an incredible effort.
“Eventually I hope it gets to a point where things calm down but, right now, so many people have stepped up and it really warms the heart.”
Singh said CRD residents were coming up to him following the meeting at the Sagebrush Theatre Monday thanking him for the city’s hospitality, but noted that’s not necessary.
“I appreciate they were coming up to talk to me and thanking me, but that’s a little embarrassing, honestly,” he said.
“We want to help out in any way we can.”