Chilliwack prepares to take in wildfire evacuees. (Jess Peters/Chilliwack Progress)

Lower Mainland prepares for 13,000 wildfire evacuees

Surrey and Chilliwack have already begun preparations

The Lower Mainland is preparing to take in nearly 13,000 wildfire evacuees from interior B.C., according to Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Williams Lake was evacuated Saturday afternoon, with evacuees being directed to Little Fort where they will be told further directions of where to proceed. Surrey activated emergency social services Saturday, opening an evacuation centre in Cloverdale.

WATCH: Hwy. 97 goes from empty to busy as evacuees flee Williams Lake

RELATED: Williams Lake, 150 Mile House under evacuation

Some evacuees will be headed to Chilliwack Secondary, Gaetz said.

We are expecting evacuees from Williams Lake to travel to Kamloops tonight with the overflow making their way down here,” said Gaetz. “Some evacuees will travel to the larger group lodging facility in Cloverdale.”

VIDEO: Young parents’ dream turns to nightmare in wildfire

Emergency Management BC is organizing additional lodging in neighbouring cities. The newest wave of evacuees is expected to begin arriving late Saturday or early Sunday, although many have begun to trickle down to the Lower Mainland already.

It’s not just people who are being evacuated. The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team is helping out in Cloverdale and a map of those able to take in or haul livestock has been created here:

Just Posted

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

UPDATE: Whiskey Creek floodwaters subside

Area roads reopened following Sunday morning closure

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

B.C. health minister appoints Jane Morley and Jean Greatbatch as mediators

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

Most Read