“We watched the fire come over the hill towards our house,” recalls Ira Sandy, a British Columbia wildfire evacuee. “You could feel the heat and warmth from the flames.”

On Monday, Sandy evacuated from his community of Sugar Cane in northern British Columbia due to the wildfires that have been sweeping fiercely across the province. He's staying at an evacuation centre in Prince George.

When Sandy arrived at the centre, he promptly registered with the Canadian Red Cross who he says have been very friendly and helpful since his arrivalWhen Sandy arrived at the centre, he promptly registered with the Canadian Red Cross who he says have been very friendly and helpful since his arrival; though this isn’t the first time he has received support from the Red Cross.

Over the past few years, Sandy has been utilizing the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) services in his own community. HELP is a community-based service that loans a variety of health equipment to people coping with illness or injury. 

After arriving in Prince George, all Sandy wanted was a shower but the facilities at the centre were not able to accommodate him. Thankfully, the local HELP depot was able to set him up with a bath bench transfer so he could bathe. “It made me feel like a million bucks,” Sandy said.

It’s often easy to take for granted the little everyday luxuries we have. Unfortunately, Sandy’s situation is not unique; there are other evacuees that require similar support and services and the Red Cross is on the ground and ready to help.

The best way Canadians can support those impacted by the British Columbia Wildfires is by making a financial donation to the BC Wildfires Appeal.