With the rescinding of the evacuation alert for Kimberley on Sept. 4, the people in Interior Health’s care who had been temporarily relocated were moved back home on Sept. 5.
On Aug. 17, wildfire activity near Kimberley resulted in an Evacuation Alert from the Regional Kootenay District. To ensure their continued safety, residents of the Kimberley Special Care Home and Garden View Village, along with some vulnerable home health clients, were temporarily relocated.
The move involved coordination and help from many facilities, businesses, and community members. While some people were able to stay with family and friends, 53 clients were temporarily moved into the F.W. Green Home in Cranbrook and 13 were in surrounding hospitals or at other care facilities.
The Prestige Hotel also housed 41 relocated individuals.
The care team set up a temporary team headquarters and spaces to make residents comfortable.
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, thanked Interior Health staff and community partners for their dedication.
“More than 7,000 people in Kimberley were placed under evacuation alert during this year’s wildfire season. I want to thank the health-care workers, volunteers, and local businesses, whose hard work and generosity helped ensure that the move was safe and comfortable as possible for our residents and seniors. I’m sure they are happy to be home.”
Terri Domin, Acting Executive Director for East Kootenay, praised the hard work necessary for the smooth transition.
“I am so proud of the team and how they moved everyone safely, and thought of everything – from meals, to bathing programs, to arranging volunteers, to supporting non-IH clients – honestly everything,” said Domin.
The move home began at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Everyone was settled and able to enjoy dinner that evening back in their homes.
Thank you to Manitoulin Transport for its donation of trucks and drivers during the move; the Prestige Hotel for accommodating the IH team and residents; and many other people and businesses for support including: Guy Ducette, who entertained relocated residents with an outdoor concert; Cranbrook’s Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza, which supplied free pizza; Alpine Toyota, who brought ice cream treats for staff; and all those who worked to ensure the comfort and safety of those impacted by this relocation.
Submitted by Interior Health