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Sifting through the ashes

Written by Darren Handschuh

Samaritan’s Purse has been to disasters from one end of the world the other, and now they are in the Okanagan to help those impacted by wildfire.

The group has set up in the parking lot of the Vernon Alliance Church and teams will be heading into fire zones to help those who lost their homes.

Tammy Suitor, Canadian Disaster Relief Manager, said one of the tasks they will perform is ash sifting.

Crews sift through the remains of a home, looking for anything the home owner may hold dear.

“We’ve got 100 volunteers across Canada that work with us regularly. They would come in and they would lead the teams…that would sift through the ashes to help homeowners find things that may be left over from the fire,” said Suitor, noting last week in Lytton, a cookbook from the homeowner’s grandmother was found.

“Lots of people think it was such an intense fire nothing will be left, but it’s amazing, fires burn very differently and so how things fall and how things come down, sometimes those things can be preserved,” she said.

Samaritan’s Purse will be in the Okanagan until the end of the month, and possibly longer.

Suitor said all people have to do is call them at 1-866-628-6565 and they will do what they can to help.

Samaritan’s Purse is also conducting similar operations in other areas of the province hit by wildfires.

Learn how Samaritan’s Purse is helping British Columbia wildfire victims

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