Canada 'We're still screaming for people to help': Volunteers work through night helping wildfire evacuees

20:37  17 july  2017
20:37  17 july  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

'Why me?': In wildfire destruction in tiny B.C. Interior community, at least 1 home survives

  'Why me?': In wildfire destruction in tiny B.C. Interior community, at least 1 home survives Sherrie Fraser has a home, but no community to return to. Her home was spared Friday while 30 others burned in a wildfire that struck near Ashcroft, B.C.Fraser's mobile home, located in the tiny village of Boston Flats, B.C., was spared Friday night after a wildfire raged through the region, destroying at least 30 homes on all sides of her.

Nadeau has been volunteering at the shelter for fire evacuees in Petaluma every day since the fires broke out, helping A massive wildfire swept through the area last week destroying thousands of housing and business and taking the lives of more than two dozen people .(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli).

"I think it's really going to hit when we go home and see the destruction," she said. Highlighting the concerns of mental health professionals, the California Psychological Association has emailed an urgent request calling for volunteers to help wildfire evacuees cope with the trauma they have faced and

Smoky skies greeted central B.C. on Monday morning as firefighters began another week trying to bring wildfires across the region under control.

There's no rain in the forecast for the next few days, but Environment Canada is cautioning people throughout the Interior and as far east as Saskatchewan about poor air quality due to wildfire smoke.

But temperatures are expected to be a little cooler Monday, with highs in the low 20s for the hard-hit cities of Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House.

After strong winds whipped up the flames and caused many of the wildfires to spread aggressively on Saturday, crews were able to make headway during Sunday's calmer conditions, according to B.C. Wildfire Service information officer Kevin Skrepnek.

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"I think it's really going to hit when we go home and see the destruction," she said. Highlighting the concerns of mental health professionals, the California Psychological Association has emailed an urgent request calling for volunteers to help wildfire evacuees cope with the trauma they have faced and

They're trying to give the evacuees one less thing to worry about. " We ' re able to because of all the help we ' re getting from the public." Photos Show Apocalyptic Scene After Wildfire Moves Through California.

"We're certainly seeing progress out there, despite the challenges. It's hard progress to quantify," he said.

Though the forecast calls for continuing dry conditions, there are some positives in the outlook for the next few days.

"I don't think we're going to see the wind to the extent of what we saw on Saturday," Skrepnek said. "Of course, the damage has been done in many cases."

More than a dozen of the more than 160 wildfires burning through south and central B.C. are threatening communities. The largest fire, near Ashcroft, had ballooned to 52,600 hectares in size by Monday morning.

The entire city of Williams Lake was evacuated on Saturday, but a few residents have stuck around to help fight the fires closing in on the outskirts.

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Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes. Relief organizations are providing food, shelter and support for evacuees and pets. " We need approximately a hundred volunteers a day to collect the donations coming in and sort them and also help with people as they' re coming

For individuals who want to help out wildfire victims, here are “Feed, bedding, blankets and many other everyday supplies are still needed for both human and equine evacuees , and donations We ’ re in need of wire crates in good condition, bedding, clean blankets and towels, dog waste bags, paper

Active wildfires in B.C. as of 6 a.m. PT, July 17. © CBC News Active wildfires in B.C. as of 6 a.m. PT, July 17. Volunteers prepare breakfast for wildfire evacuees in Kamloops on July 17, 2017. © Denis Dossman/CBC News Volunteers prepare breakfast for wildfire evacuees in Kamloops on July 17, 2017.

Tim Menning runs a timber company in town, and said he's been getting by on bologna sandwiches for the past few days as he helps with the battle.

The sun rises through smoky skies above the Sandman hotel in Kamloops, which is serving as a wildfire evacuee reception centre, on July 17, 2017. © Denis Dossmann/CBC The sun rises through smoky skies above the Sandman hotel in Kamloops, which is serving as a wildfire evacuee reception centre, on July 17, 2017.

"It's virtually every logging outfit that has stayed behind ... to help fight the fires," Menning said.

There have been some tough days, with winds whipping up the flames and little progress made in the battle, but conditions were better on Sunday.

"We had a good day yesterday, and today is shaping up OK," Menning said.

Thousands out of homes

More than 40,000 people have fled their homes, and another 20,000 are on evacuation alert.

With news of new evacuation orders and alerts coming in virtually nonstop for the last 10 days, there are signs of fatigue among those trying to help evacuees.

At the Kamloops evacuation reception centre on Sunday afternoon, volunteer Joel Gaudet was feeling worn out after working through the night.

"I've taken a couple of breaks," he said.

"We're still screaming for people to help out here, so I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon."

Wildfire evacuees' jobs lack legal protection, lawyer says .
A Kelowna lawyer says B.C. laws don't protect employees from termination due to disaster-related absences. Is it time for that to change? Cut off: wildfire road closures prompt 'panic buying' in some B.C. towns"Obviously that's a conversation that may be had at a provincial level," he said."However, when we're thinking about global warming and natural disasters like floods and fires and earthquakes happening on what seems like a far more common basis, maybe this is something we need to be thinking about to make sure people displaced by natural disaster have employment protections in place.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-37095-were-still-screaming-for-people-to-help-volunteers-work-through-night-helping-wildfire-evacuees/

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