(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.

Just Posted

Where to find community holiday feasts in Langley

A variety of groups are hosting free meals for the Langley community to fill up on.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals in Aldergrove

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Langley Mounties get new tool to find drunk drivers

New legislation take effect this week that will allow broader breathalyzer testing.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

BCIHL Young Stars lose hard-fought hockey game to Kazakhstan at Langley Events Centre

Coach calls it ‘a great opportunity for those guys to have an international experience’

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Lower Mainland man receives apology after getting kicked out of library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

Most Read