In the southern interior of BC wildfires are raging. There have been, according to recent reports, about 10,000 people evacuated from their homes. What makes this so difficult to fight is that there are so many fires, it isn’t a single blaze that is threatening but several, meaning resources are being spread across the province.
I have spent the past few days glued to news articles, reports, and social media feed about the devastating fires down south. The fires are all a long way from me but I have friends who are affected and seeing entire communities being evacuated is heartbreaking. In these times, though, there is a surge of compassion; so many are stepping up to help where they can.
Just a year after the Fort Mac fire, the news articles still fresh in our minds, the terror of those who fled still healing, these fires have prompted aid from Fort Mac residents themselves. I saw a twitter post where they had collected so many supplies from their community that they had to build walls onto their flat deck trailer to hold them all.
People have been offering their homes, their yards, barns?anything and everything they can?to house displaced animals and people. I have seen those that fled Fort Mac providing a list of things that should be taken with you, from insurance papers to medications, pet supplies, clothes. I can’t imagine being in that situation, deciding what to take, and what gets left.
The most important thing to grab is anything that feels irreplaceable, photos, memories, an object from a passed relative. Of course, your pets and livestock. Another recommendation I have seen making its way around is to take pictures or a video of your home, your possessions and keep that with you in case you need to make a claim and then you have that showing exactly what was lost.
In the mix of the chaos, those fleeing, those hearing things third hand, there are contradicting news reports. Google maps had even posted that a highway was closed when it wasn’t, causing panic among those trying to get to the evacuation zone. It’s important to look at reliable news sources, your local community page, bcwildfires.ca, and try to not spread misinformation.
There are so many on the ground and in the air fighting these fires, organizing and aiding evacuees, and driving donations from one province to another. The compassion of people during these times is inspiring. One video that will stick with me is of a fuel truck driving through the fire. Fire was on both sides of the highway, and they were delivering fuel to the helicopters so they could continue to battle the blaze. I couldn’t imagine driving through there with aviation fuel behind me, to be fair, I couldn’t imagine driving through there at all.
I think the best news now would be rain (free of lightening) in the forecast, and lots of it.
Deanna Roney is an AU graduate who loves adventure in life and literature. Follow her path on the writing journey at https://deannaroney.wordpress.com/