(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

VIDEO: Crash closes Fraser Highway in Langley

One vehicle ends up in ditch, air ambulance called in

Optimist Club has its sights set on Cloverdale

The international club has been helping youth in the community nearly 100 years.

Surrey RCMP are looking for 47-year-old Audra Jager

Reports say she is easily confused and disoriented because of previous head injury.

Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup

The team features Surrey natives and Valley West Hawks forwards Justin Sourdif and Cameron MacDonald

Oct. 21st-27th is Newcomer Employment Week in Surrey

The City of Surrey is offering a number of services to help new residents find jobs

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Surrey Eagles prep for road tilt with first-place Vernon Vipers

After a Friday night game against Wenatchee, the Birds take aim at BCHL leaders Saturday

Most Read