While visiting wildfire-impacted communities, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, Naomi Yamamoto announced today that a resilience centre for British Columbians impacted by wildfires in Rock Creek and Oliver will be set up to provide programs of support.
“We know this is a difficult and uncertain time for many residents. Our hearts are with those who have had to leave their homes, and especially those who have suffered the terrible loss of losing a home to the fires,” said Yamamoto. “On top of the Emergency Social Services support the Province and partners are providing, we are seeing a tremendous level of resilience. Communities are coming together to help one another and agencies are joining in to provide vital support. This is the true co-operative spirit of British Columbians, working together to help each other in a time of need.”
Through the local authority and supported by the Integrated Disaster Council of B.C., the community resilience centre in Midway will help connect residents with support programs offered by agencies like the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Mennonite Disaster Services, the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Counselling support through Disaster Psychosocial Services is also provided to help residents and volunteers work through the emotional trauma that a disaster can present.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Mike Morris, joined Yamamoto on the visit to survey the impacted area and speak with impacted residents and volunteers, commending the communities that received evacuees for their generosity, selfless and tireless efforts to help those fleeing the fires.
“The people of Rock Creek, Westbridge, Oliver and others affected by these fires must now focus on rebuilding their communities and their homes which makes this type of relief so important,” said Morris. “I want to make sure that we do what we can to prevent this from happening again while we also focus on helping the citizens of this region return to normal. I am moved by the resilience of these people and proud of the support from British Columbians throughout the province.”
- The community resilience centre in Midway is open. General inquiries can be directed to the Kootenay Boundary Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre at 250 368-9127 or 1 888 747-9119. For affected residents who have lost homes, please contact 250 368-0254.
- Parliamentary Secretary Morris is currently conducting a review of the fine and penalty structures related to human-caused forest fires.
Emergency Management BC: http://www.embc.gov.bc.ca and on Twitter @EmergencyInfoBC
BC Wildfire Service: http://bcwildfire.ca/ and on Facebook @BCForestFireInfo and on Twitter @BCGovFireInfo
Drive BC: http://www.drivebc.ca/
Community resilience centre in Midway: http://www.rdkb.com/Default.aspx