British Columbia’s State of Emergency

Areas where the fire danger is highest

For the past three weeks, I have been in Vancouver and on the Islands, enjoying time with friends and family. However like most residents of British Columbia, at 6 pm I make sure I am close to a TV so I can see the latest news reports about the wild fires burning in the interior of the province.

Evacuees on their way to safety

 

Getting animals out of harm’s way

There have been good days when it looked as though the fire fighters were getting the upper hand. But the forests are tinder dry at this time of year and strong winds propel the embers from established fires, starting new ones every day – 15 yesterday – and today another city was evacuated.  Some of the fires are so huge they have jumped rivers and highways.  Thousands of fire fighters from across Canada are now battling more than 160 fires in BC!

 

                                          Water bombers loading over one of the lakes

Much of the province is relatively out of harm’s way, and these cities and towns are taking in evacuees. One of them is Kamloops, the place where I will be living until December. On a news channel, I saw footage of suburban streets lined with campers and trailers, and tents pitched in front yards – the Kamloops homeowners were shown running power cords out to the stranded families and inviting them use their bathrooms.

Six Kamloops women have joined together to run a temporary donation centre, operating out of the Sandman Signature Hotel. They provide clothing, food and toiletries to those forced to evacuate their homes.

In Kamloops, sorting donations for fire evacuees

One of the women, Dusti Naud, said she and her friends used social media to spread the word. Their friends began dropping off items, and soon local businesses and others – even from outside the province – started donating items. Independent grocers donated 15 pallets of food, and another relief agency dropped off 16 bags of clothing they had collected.

Jamie Maclean, another of the six friends talked about the gift bags that have been personalized for men, women, and families. “The community has been absolutely astonishing with their donations, with their support,” she added.

Hundreds of evacuees have used the donation centre. “It’s open each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We’re here for the people that need us,” Maclean said.

I will be returning to Kamloops on Wednesday. I’m happy that I’ll be living in a community where such caring people live.

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6 thoughts on “British Columbia’s State of Emergency

  1. Dear Joanna, Just went through the fire in Portugal and they were horrendous. Many people were killed. A nightmare. Thank God my family was out of harm’s way… and now B.C. Dear Lord! Glad to know that you are safe. As you mention, it is during times like these that people come together and are there for each other, literally working miracles. Stay safe. Please! Much love, José

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    1. Dearest Jose… I am far from the fires. Kamloops is full of evacuees with horror stories, so I feel grateful I am nowhere near the places they came from. Thank you for your comment… say a prayer that this is soon over.

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  2. We hear about the fires in Toronto and happy to hear you are well out of harm´s way. It is so fortunate the good people of Kamloops are able to assist the evacuees. Stay safe.

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  3. So happy that you are safe but can’t even imagine being so close to the fires, here in Calgary we can smell it, breath it, we even had some cars cover in a slight dust of ashes, pretty scary. My thoughts and my prayers are with you and all the people affected.

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