(Marianne Rumbal took this photo on Friday of the Ashcroft Reserve fire.)

SIMPSON: Canadians rally for wildfire victims

It’s encouraging to see the province – and nation – come together for the thousands affected

Fire crews are battling more than 215 wildfires – some thousands of hectares in size.

As of Monday, 14,000 people have been evacuated, according to Emergency Management B.C.

Twenty-nine new fires were started Sunday for a total of 218 fires burning as of Monday.

READ: B.C. wildfire season hits 599 fires

In the face of disaster, it’s encouraging to see the province – and nation – come together for the thousands of people affected. Help from other provinces and the federal government has begun to pour in for firefighters and evacuees.

The Canadian Press reported that about 300 firefighters and support staff from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick started to arrive Monday to help relieve the pressure on roughly 1,000 B.C. crew members battling the blazes.

The Canadian Armed Forces have also sent aircraft and personnel to support the emergency response.

Residents of Fort McMurray, Alta., who had to flee a massive wildfire last year, have also sprung into action by collecting donations of supplies, driving them to B.C. and offering support and advice on social media.

Four tonnes of supplies arrived from Fort McMurray including wrapped and sealed water, Gatorade and baby supplies. Volunteers were making sure the Kamloops food bank receives and distributes them, CP reported.

And in a similar vein, a Canada-wide social media network of donors and volunteers has truckloads of supplies headed for fire-stricken communities around the province.

Plus, all YMCAs are opening their doors to people impacted by the wildfires, so they can shower and clean up, rest in a safe space or take part in a drop-in program like basketball, fitness classes or swimming.

READ: YMCA opens door to evacuees

And WestJet is offering some relief to those needing to get out of the area quickly. According to Lauren Stewart, the airline put together a 25-per-cent-off promo code for those wishing to leave Kelowna, Penticton and Kamloops to any domestic location in Canada and the U.S.

Airbnb is also offering anyone affected or trying to help with the B.C. wildfires a place to stay. As part of their disaster response program, the company is waiving its service fees.

And while we may be far from the disaster unfolding, there are ways we can help.

The Canadian Red Cross has opened up its donations page at redcross.ca. Donations will help provide immediate relief in the way of cots, blankets, food, clothing and personal needs.

Beyond meeting immediate needs, donations may be used to help re-entry and go towards long term-recovery. You can also donate to the Red Cross while visiting BC Liquor Stores and Save-On Foods.

You can even donate with your phone. Simply text FIRES to 45678 to donate $10 to the Canadian Red Cross BC Fires Appeal.

It’s hard to imagine what our fellow British Columbians are going through right now. In the wink of an eye, many have lost everything. The least we could do is give a few bucks.

Beau Simpson is editor of the Now-Leader. He can be reached via email at beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read