Like most British Columbians my thoughts have been with people in Interior communities who have been impacted by wildfires over the last week.
Thousands of people have been evacuated. Many people have lost their homes and everything they had. I’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories to count.
But what has shone through the heartbreak and the disaster, is the kindness, generosity and good spirit of ordinary British Columbians, who have come together to support each other in these tough times.
People from across the province have reached out to support those affected by the wildfires. They have opened their wallets and their homes. They have delivered everything from diapers to dog food to evacuation centres, and driven on hot lonely highways to help people transport their livestock to safety.
I’ve seen people from every corner of the province offering to house people and their pets. From Fernie to Abbotsford to Prince George, people have been offering temporary homes for everything from hamsters to horses, and donations have flooded in to take care of lost livestock and pets.
Our emergency services staff have been working long days and nights to ensure that everyone who has been forced to evacuate is taken care of. And brave firefighters from around the province have been on the ground fighting to save lives and communities.
This is the best of British Columbia. Kindness and generosity is at the heart of who we are. If how we act in times of trouble is a measure of our character, these wildfires have shown the fundamental goodness of the people of this province.
I know that no matter what happens in the coming weeks that we will work together to support those in need, because that’s what we do.
Right now thousands of people have been forced from their homes. It may be weeks before they can return to their communities, and when they do they may find they have lost everything they had.
We need to continue to support those who have been evacuated in these difficult times. My government will do everything we can to take care of people affected by the fires. $100 million has already been announced, and we will continue to evaluate the situation and provide support as needed.
I hope everyone will also consider donating to the Red Cross to help with their efforts to support British Columbia at this time. Donating is simple, just text FIRES to 45678 to donate $10 to the Canadian Red Cross BC Fires Appeal.
Together, we will get through these fires, and together, we will work towards making our communities safer for the future.