You might think that being forced out from your home because of a fast-moving wildfire would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. 
 
Al Lucas, a Red Cross volunteer after experiencing two wildfires in two yearsBut for Al Lucas, of Cache Creek B.C., it happened twice, in two years, in two different locations.
 
“Before, maybe seeing smoke in the air was a bit of a nuisance,” he says. “But now, people who have been through that tend to be a little more serious … You try to find out, where is that fire?”
 
Al was living in Fort McMurray in May 2016, when 88,000 people were evacuated from the region. Most residents didn’t get home until early June.
 
The following summer, Al had started his retirement in the quiet village of Cache Creek when once again, a wildfire loomed on the horizon.
 
That second time, he was only out of his house for 10 days. After it was all over, he decided it was time to give back.
 
He signed up with the Red Cross as a volunteer, got some training, and was up in 100 Mile House helping other wildfire evacuees by the middle of August.
 
“I guess the good karma has started to pay off because we haven’t been burned out or flooded since,” he quips.
 
Karma aside, he says the experience itself makes volunteering with the Red Cross worthwhile. 
 
“You meet nothing but great people, almost by definition,” he says. “Lots of appreciation and lots of positive feedback, you end up feeling good doing what you’re doing.”