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Hotels giving breaks to evacuees

The forest fires to the south has meant the city's hotels are busier than usual. "It's definitely limited availability, very high occupancy," said Tourism Prince George marketing and communications manager Annie Doran.
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The forest fires to the south has meant the city's hotels are busier than usual.

"It's definitely limited availability, very high occupancy," said Tourism Prince George marketing and communications manager Annie Doran.

"Most of the hotels are fully booked and I know lots of them are working around the clock to accommodate the evacuees, the fire crews."

Doran said some are also giving evacuees a discount rate.

"It's just because, as one of the accommodators put it, we're a mid-size city but with a small-town feel and nobody wants to get left high and dry and we all are coming together as community because this is a tragic event."

The tourist information centre has also been a hive of activity as staff has helped visitors with finding alternate routes and change bookings and just generally providing updates on the forest fire situation.

"Just letting people use our phone to call, letting people use the internet," Doran said and added most are evacuees who dropped into the centre rather than first go to the reception centre the city has set up at College of New Caledonia.

Northern Health is working to accommodate an influx of patients from Williams Lake. They're being accepted at University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George as well as G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel.

Clinics are being set up at the College of New Caledonia and the Northern Sport Centre and room for more than 100 seniors is being found at residential care and assisted living facilities in Prince George.

Evacuees are also welcome to use the YMCA of Northern B.C.'s facilities free of charge to shower and clean up, get some rest or use the gym equipment. They're asked to provide identification that includes their photo and home address to participate.

As well, the Railway and Forestry Museum is offering free admission and lunch to evacuees on Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And Exploration Place is offering free admission.

An evacuees registration form is required.