Tuesday night is the last time evacuees will have to sleep at Regina’s Evraz Place.
The Red Cross and Social Services will be moving evacuees at the Evraz Place evacuation centre to Saskatoon starting Wednesday morning. In a release Tuesday evening, the province said it is closing the evacuation centre at Evraz Place. The province says it is seeing declining evacuee numbers which suggests evacuated families are starting to return north.
About 200 evacuees will be cared for at the Saskatoon evacuation centres until the evacuation orders are lifted.
Meanwhile, evacuees staying at the University of Regina won’t be leaving the Queen City quite yet.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 1,253 evacuees receiving services in Regina.
Evacuees grateful in Regina but ready to go home
Some wildfire evacuees staying at Evraz Place in Regina couldn’t be more appreciative of the help they’ve been given and the support they’ve been shown from volunteers and organizations willing to make their temporary stay a little more bearable.
“I like the way they treat us here. We’re going to miss it here,” admitted Pinehouse Lake’s Tamara Lariviere. “There’s, like, lots of people who like to help lots.”
Tamara and her sister Amy were enjoying a free barbecue Tuesday afternoon on the grounds of Evraz put on by SaskEnergy. The sisters and their children have been staying in the city for nearly two weeks.
“They give us free food, really lots of good food and they give us free towels, free swimming, take us to the movies. We got lots of clothes, lots of personal stuff for free,” said Tamara.
“The generosity of everybody is awesome here.”
While they say the free items have been great, they can’t quite say the same thing about the sleeping conditions. Hundreds of people all sleep together in a large room at the makeshift shelter with cots as beds.
Tamara admitted the first night wasn’t comfortable but she’s been able to adapt to her surroundings, at least as best she can. She said there are still some challenges with trying to rest with that many people surrounding her.
“They’re running around, all the kids, when we’re all trying to sleep.”
“All the babies crying, children running around even during lights out,” Amy chimed in.
It might not be a five-star hotel, but the evacuation centre is doing its job of giving evacuees a place to stay while firefighters and aircraft battle the blazes raging out of control and threatening communities in northern Saskatchewan.
The Lariviere sisters concede that it’ll be nice to go home and have a good night’s sleep in their own beds again. They said above that, they’re also looking forward to having quiet, alone time – their privacy – back.