Fires rage in Western Canada. May has only begun and it seems the long dry summer is already here. Every year it’s the same, hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest lost unknown numbers of animals dead or displaced. Towns evacuated and then ravaged by walls of unstoppable fire.
Fort McMurray is big in the news. The fire there has displaced over 80,000 people. Now the fires in Northern BC are joining forces and creating another evacuation order in the town of Fort St. John. Whether people are religious or not they pray for rain. The fires are too large for firefighters to battle alone. The weather forecast doesn’t call for rain in the 7-day forecast. These fires will blaze for a long time yet.
In the shadow of this tragedy people all over Canada have come together. People are opening their homes to those who have lost everything. There are trucks on the side of the road with fuel when gas stations are drained dry. They come with food and water. Even new Canadians are doing all they can. Syrian Refugees in Canada know what it’s like to have their homes destroyed and be forced to flee. They have so little and yet give all they can to help the people who are now facing horrible losses.
Neighbouring province Saskatchewan held a fund raise $641,110 for the Red Cross in Fort Mac. Every cent helps and if you can donate please visit the Red Cross Website. Companies in Canada have stepped up to help too. Labatt Blue is a large beer brewer in Canada. They have stopped production of beer to bottle water and send it to people and fire fighters surrounding Fort Mac. West Jet is a airline that is flying supplies in and taking people and pets out. This allows people to travel to family and have a safe place to stay.
So far the news tell us that no one has died in the fires and for that we are glad. That was the easy part for many though. The hard part will be moving from the shadows cast by these fires back into the light. They will have to battle insurance companies. They will have to move past the loss of family heirlooms and precious items devoured by the fire. Some may have to mourn the loss of pets. All will have to find a place to recover and rebuild. Fort McMurray will have to do the same. After such devastation it may take a long time, many people will not return to Fort Mac if their homes are gone.
I hope for rain and I hope the people of Fort McMurray remain strong. We face the fires every year in Canada and we rise from the ashes. We don’t let the shadows of what we lost keep us down.