Whitehorse high school made into centre for Telegraph Creek fire evacuees

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Whitehorse high school made into centre for Telegraph Creek fire evacuees

Whitehorse has opened an evacuation centre for those displaced by the Telegraph Creek fire.

Evacuees are able to find refuge at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Riverdale.

The Yukon Government Health and Social Services Department has volunteers at the school and are asking people to come by to register even if they do not need accommodation. They are relaying the information of those registered to the B.C. government to keep track of their citizens.

"Even with those persons [who don't need accommodation] we can provide some assistance financially and operationally to help them out," said John Coyne, Incident Commander for the department.

The Yukon Government is offering services such as family reunification for those who've been separated during the evacuation, group lodging, food, psychological, social and medical help, as well as assistance finding places to accommodate pets, including large animals such as horses.

As of 11 a.m. no evacuees had checked into the centre, but Coyne said they are expecting people to arrive this afternoon.

"Right now we are focusing efforts on receiving evacuees," said Coyne.

The Yukon government is providing assistance for those trying to reach Whitehorse. Fuel and food are being handed out at the health and social services offices in Watson Lake and Teslin. The offices are above the post office in Watson Lake and at the nursing station in Teslin.

Coyne said they are prepared to accommodate as many as 200 people. There have been roughly 300 people evacuated from the Telegraph Creek area and 30 buildings have been destroyed.

"We [the Yukon] have a lot of very close family connections with Telegraph Creek," said Coyne.

The Yukon government said in a news release it is donating $25,000 to B.C. residents affected by the fire.