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Nearly 1,100 wildfire evacuees now registered in Surrey

Evacuees register at the Cloverdale Arena.
Evacuees register at the Cloverdale Arena. Janet Brown / CKNW

Nearly 1,100 wildfire evacuees have registered at an Emergency Social Services (ESS) centre in Surrey.

That’s up from the some 330 who had checked in at the Cloverdale Arena as of Sunday.

But while there are more than 100 cots set up for evacuees on site, no one has opted to stay there with evacuees choosing to either stay with family, in RVs, or in local hotels.

LISTEN: On the ground at the Cloverdale Arena wildfire evacuation centre

It was an emotional scene outside the arena as anxious evacuees waited to have their number called to register for assistance.

Pam Lussier said she fled her home in Williams Lake in a panic, heading south while her four adult children drove north to Prince George.

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WATCH: Lower Mainland gears up for wildfire refugees

Space available for B.C. wildfire evacuees in Prince George
Space available for B.C. wildfire evacuees in Prince George

Lussier said the last week has been a blur and has left her an emotional wreck.

“It’s horrible, our families have all gone different directions and we don’t know if our town is going to burn down,” she said.

She said even with assistance, she’s now starting to run out of money and isn’t sure if she’ll still have a job when she gets home.

George Coghlan said he had to quickly flee his home at 108 Mile Ranch, so he wasn’t able to grab much. He and his wife camped out with friends in 100 Mile House before having to flee again, this time to family in Surrey.

He said the uncertainty is the hardest part, though said he recently connected with a neighbour with a web-linked security camera that showed houses in their neighbourhood were still standing.

“The biggest thing is trying to get news of how things are up in the interior. They just don’t tell you where the fire is going or what’s happening,” he said.

“I try to follow the news, and they try to give updates and all that. But as homeowners and that, people want to know what’s going on with their house, and can’t find out.”

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Offers of donations, including a full truck of goods from retail chain Fields have been pouring in, but officials say for the most part they don’t have space to put things.

Would-be donors are asked to connect with the Red Cross or Salvation Army to help.

WATCH: Help pours in for evacuees from the Fraser Valley

Help pours in for evacuees from the Fraser Valley
Help pours in for evacuees from the Fraser Valley

The City of Surrey said anyone who would like to volunteer at the ESS must register online.

The Cloverdale Arena evacuation centre is one of two in the Lower Mainland.

The City of Chilliwack has also opened an overflow evacuation centre.